How it Feels to be Colored Me by Hurston and Hughes’ The Negro Mother

1229 WordsJun 22, 20185 Pages
Zora Neale Hurston vs Langston Hughes on the African American Experience Both Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes were great writers but their attitudes towards their personal experience as an African American differed in many ways. These differences can be attributed to various reasons that range from gender to life experience but even though they had different perceptions regarding the African American experience, they both shared one common goal, racial equality through art. To accurately delve into the minds of the writers’ one must first consider authors background such as their childhood experience, education, as well their early adulthood to truly understand how it affected their writing in terms the similarities and…show more content…
Hughes continued to his artistic endeavors until he passed away in 1967. 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

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