How It Feels To Be Colored Me

Essay, Research Paper

How It Feels to Be Colored Me

“How It Feels to Be Colored Me has a irrepressible spirit in the face of what are clear inequalities in America, for its ironic self-representation, and for the sheer delight it gives to think that Hurston has triumphed after all.” -A.L.

“How It Feels to Be Colored Me” is about Zora Neale Hurston?s childhood. She shares what it was like growing up in Eatonville, Florida (an all “colored” community), and then moving to Jacksonville when she turned thirteen to attend school. As she explains in the story, she went from being “Zora of Orange County”, to being “a little colored girl.” But through all the change in her life, nothing ever stopped her free spirit, and strength.

While living in Eatonville the only true contact that Zora had with white people was when they were passing through town. “White people differed from colored to me only in that they rode through town and never lived there”, Hurston explains. She was the only one daring enough to sit on the front porch on her house to greet the newcomers. She thought of it as her gallery seat, and the people passing through town were the actors in her show.

When Zora moved to Jacksonville, she was no longer watching a show. “But I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul nor lurking behind my eyes.” Her move to Jacksonville was a huge change, but it didn?t change her spirit. She explains, “Slavery is the choice I paid for civilization, and the choice was not with me”, yet despite this she never looks behind herself and weeps.

Through the huge change in places and culture, Zora?s spirit and love never changed. Even in Jacksonville where she was only a “little colored girl” she felt that “at certain times I have no race, I am me.” Hurston?s freewill and love for life is what kept her going through life. It is believed that Hurston had overcome many great obstacles in her life, and in this story it proves to be true.


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