During a time where African American literature was fueled with racial segregation and pride in ones race during the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston offers a different and controversial approach with her literary work “How it feels to be colored me”.(13) In the works Hurston uses several colloquialisms, anecdotes, imagery and figurative expression to invite the reader on an adventure filled with pleasure. The poem takes the reader from the beginning of the Hurston’s childhood back in Eatonville, Florida into adulthood in Orlando, Florida. Hurston proves that overcoming racism can be accomplished by uniting the public and ignoring the visual difference in a person’s outer appearance. Hurston’s strength, individuality and resilience scream
Zora Neale Hurston, known as one of the most symbolic African American women during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930’s. Hurston was known as a non fiction writer, anthropologist and folklorist. Hurston’s literature has served as a big eye opener during the Harlem Renaissance, celebrating black dialect and their traditions. Most of her published stories “depict relationships among black residents in her native southern Florida, was largely unconcerned with racial injustices” (Bomarito 89). Hurston was unique when it came to her racial point of views, promoting white racism instead of black racism. Even though her works had been forgotten by the time of her death, now her literature has left a bigger impact to future literature
Zora Neale Hurston was a phenomenal woman. At the height of her success she was known as the “Queen of the Harlem Renaissance.” She came to overcome obstacles that were placed in front of her. Hurston rose from poverty to fame and lost it all at the time of her death. Zora had an unusual life; she was a child that was forced to grow up to fast. But despite Zora Neale Hurston’s unsettled life, she managed to surmount every obstacle to become one of the most profound authors of the century.
Paragraph: Published in during the 1900s, at a time when being colored was considered unbeneficial, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” depicts Hurston’s audacious (for the time) pride in being an African-American woman. In order to emphasize her thesis, she employs pathos and figurative
Hurston, on the other hand, lived in a town where only blacks lived until she was thirteen years old. Therefore, she only knew the “black” self. There was no second identity to contend with. She states that “white people differed from colored to me only in that they rode through town and never lived there.”2 She does not feel anger when she is discriminated against. She only wonders how anyone can not want to be in her company. She “has no separate feeling about being an American citizen and colored” (Hurston 1712).
In Zora Neale Hurston’s essay “How It Feels To Be Colored Me”, her racial identity varies based on her location. Towards the beginning of her life when Zora was in her own community she could be a lighthearted, carefree spirit. However, when she was forced to leave her community, Zora’s identity became linked to her race. In this essay I will demonstrate how Zora’s blackness is both a sanctuary and completely worthless.
Hurston stays who she is, no matter what people might think of her. In her non-fiction text she especially manages to convey this by using Humor, that creates Ethos within the text. The first words of “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” include “I am the only Negro in the Unites States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief”, in which Hurston makes fun of all the Afro-Americans at the time who were trying to claim Native American heritage. This start into the text creates a lighthearted atmosphere, in which the author acknowledges her less than perfect living circumstances, but showing that she will not crumple beneath them. Before being sent to a racially mixed boarding school in Jacksonville, Zora Hurston lived in a town in Florida. She always welcomed white tourists looking at their town and states that she was “the first welcome-to-our state Floridian”, hoping “the Miami Chamber of Commerce will please take notice”. Of course, at the time, it was impossible to involve the government in a personal wit, so the author uses the sarcastic information to show the reader that she would live her life no matter what the social norms might have been in the 1920s. In the second half of her text, Hurston includes the Irony “How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me”, showing that she knows that some people would view her as being socially unacceptable, however Hurston does not care, as long as she can stay true to her own character. Through the humorous tone created, the reader acknowledges that Hurston is light hearted and sympathizes with her
"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.
How It Feels to be Colored Me is an essay by Zora Neale Hurston published in the World Tomorrow on May 1928. In the essay she describes her first experience with racism. The purpose of the piece is to show self-confidents and pride in her identity. She shows the reader the positives of embracing your identity and not letting society affect your true selves. Stating “I’m not ashamed to be colored.” (pg.416), meaning that no matter what anyone saying about her being black, she still has pride in herself.
“The Book of Negroes is a master piece, daring and impressive in its geographic, historical and human reach, convincing in its narrative art and detail, necessary for imagining the real beyond the traces left by history.” I completely agree with The Globe and Mail’s interpretation of this story. One could almost see the desolate conditions of the slave boats and feel the pain of every person brought into slavery. Lawrence Hill created a compelling story that depicts the hard ships, emotional turmoil and bravery when he wrote The Book of Negroes.
Even though both Hurston and Hughes grew up around the same time period, they had very different ideals regarding their experience as African American’s as well as a different voice used within their works to convey their ideals. Hurston in her 1928 essay “How it Feels to be Colored Me” describes her childhood and coming of age with a delightful zest that cannot be contained. Although the essay does contain some dark moments such as when she describes her experience with her friend at the jazz club and the sudden realization of the racial difference between her and the other patrons, for the most part the work exudes her keen sense of dignity despite the popular opinion of the masses during that period. Lines in her essay such as “But I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes…I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it” (Abcarian, Klotz, and Cohen 812) beautifully express her sense of self dignity and refusal to give in to the negative energies surrounding her race. Despite the many hardships that the color of her skin caused her she was proud and determined to never let that stand in her way of
One of Hurston’s stories, How it Feels to Be Colored Me, reflects the author’s perspective of the colored race (specifically herself). According to the story, when Hurston reached the age of thirteen, she truly “became colored” (1040). The protagonist was raised in Eatonville, Florida, which was mainly inhabited by the colored race. She noted no difference between herself and the white community except that they never lived in her hometown. Nevertheless, upon leaving Eatonville, the protagonist began losing her identity as “Zora,” instead, she was recognized as only being “a little colored girl” (1041). Hurston’s nickname “Zora” represents her individuality and significance; whereas, the name “a little colored girl” was created by a white society to belittle her race and gender (1041).
In the short story “Drenched in Light” by Zora Neale Hurston, the author appeals to a broad audience by disguising ethnology and an underlying theme of gender, race, and oppression with an ambiguous tale of a young black girl and the appreciation she receives from white people. Often writing to a double audience, Hurston had a keen ability to appeal to white and black readers in a clever way. “[Hurston] knew her white folks well and performed her minstrel shows tongue in cheek” (Meisenhelder 2). Originally published in The Opportunity in 1924, “Drenched in Light” was Hurston’s first story to a national audience.
Zora Neale Hurston was so proud to be from the black community that she mentioned it in her writings; she even changed it to her birthplace. Eatonville, Florida, had a massive impact on Zora’s life. It shaped her life and writing style. Hurston explains: "Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."
Zora Neale Hurston How It Feels to Be Colored Me is an autobiographical short story wrote in 1926. She takes us back to her childhood youth a time period when racism was prevalent. She