How It Feels to Be Colored Me Analysis

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"How it Feels to be Colored Me" was written in 1928. Zora, growing up in an all-black town, began to take note of the differences between blacks and whites at about the age of thirteen. The only white people she was exposed to were those passing through her town of Eatonville, Florida, many times going to or coming from Orlando. The primary focus of "How it Feels to be Colored Me" is the relationship and differences between blacks and whites.

In the early stages of Zora 's life, which are expressed in the beginning of "How it Feels to be Colored Me," black and whites had little difference in her eyes. She didn 't even seems to differentiate between the two until her early teens. She says, "I remember the very day I became colored."
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This is explained by the reaction of each to a jazz orchestra at a Harlem night club. The music has a profoundly different effect on her than it does on a white person sitting next to her.

This orchestra grows rambunctious, rears on its hind legs and attacks the tonal veil with primitive fury, rendering it, clawing it until it breaks through to the jungle beyond. I follow those heathen - follow them exultantly. I dance wildly inside myself; yell within, I whoop... My pulse is throbbing like a war drum. I want to slaughter something--give pain, give death to what, I do not know.

The contrast is created by the remark that the white person makes: "Good music they have here." Where the music has driven Zora to these inner feelings, the white person can only sit and admire the music itself. He can get no further meaning out of it as Zora has.

As she shows this difference between the white person and the black person, she also says that there are times when she has no race. During these times, she seems to revert to her childhood view that people are just people. She realizes the differences but chooses to ignore them. She ends by speaking of times when she sees her self as being a brown bag along a wall in company with many other bags or different colors. These bags can be emptied into a pile and refilled and nothing would change. "A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter."

In "How it Feels to be Colored Me", Zora talks of when she first
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