In an often quoted passage, WE.B. Du Bois wrote of the double nature of African-American identity:

It is, in fact, this double nature (tripled, even quadrupled, nature in the case of black women and black gay I lesbian people) that is at the heart of the strengths and the tensions in black notions of community. As I discussed in chapter 3, 5 Michael Walzer emphasizes the important contribution of the doubled citizenship and ethnic identities of so many Americans. But the connection between citizenship and race has been much harder and more painful. For the first part of their existence on the American continent, blacks were simply African slaves, whose males only counted as 3 I 5 of a person and whose women did not count at all. Even after emancipation into citizenship, they were only secondclassAmericans.Yet on the basis of their sharedMrican identity they developed a unique, strong community that lay outside the gaze of white America. When the Civil Rights movement opened the way to new forms of (selective) inclusion, African-American communities were simultaneously offered new opportunities for advancement and broken apart in ways which are only now becoming clear.