“How It Feels To Be Colored Me” By Zora Neale Hurston This is an analytical essay on “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston.
She summarizes the ways she sees black and white people, when she was living in a town of mostly blacks, and when she moved to Jacksonville where it was the opposite and then she was outnumbered by white people. Insert opinion here. She lived in a town called Eatonville, where she speaks about the only time she would see white people was then they drove through Eatonville on their way to Orlando.She didn’t speak bad of the whites, she seen them just the same as here, except they drove in fancy automobiles. She says that she got as much excitement whenever she saw the tourists, as they did. Even though she enjoyed trying to talk to them while they were in town, on a horse or by automobile, she made it understandable that her family or anyone else in town for that matter did not want her talking to them. But Zora did not seem to care, she carries on about whites listening to her sing for them or “speak pieces” and they would offer her small favors, the blacks on the other hand would not offer her anything.It was very eye opening when you realize how much of a good hearted independent girl she was then, she called herself the first “welcome-to-our-state” Floridian.
Not until she was thirteen when Zora moved to Jacksonville, did she begin to see herself differently as whites. “I was now a little colored girl”, she explained. But she still did not feel sorry for being colored, or hold anything against herself for it.
“I do not weep at the world-I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife”, Zora kept this essay very entertaining using these creative ways of seeing her day to day life.Zora stayed strong through all of these rough patches in her life, she said it very creatively about not keeping herself down. “I am off to a flying start and I must not halt in the stretch to look behind and weep” is one thing she exclaimed. She saw being an entertainer more exciting by saying that “It is quite exciting to hold the center of the national stage, with the speculators not knowing to laugh or to weep”.
Even though Zora says she does not see herself as colored most of the time, there is a few times that she does. I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background” she used this quote followed by an example when she is at Barnard. Beside the Hudson, among many white people she says “I am a dark rock surged upon, and over swept, but through it all, I remain myself”.
She just doesn’t feel uncomfortable around a bunch of whites when she is the only black one, she talks about it is just as uncomfortable for her when she is amongst all blacks and there is a white person among them all.She gives an example about this when she is at The New World Cabaret and she is seated with a white person, who she can’t really hold a conversation with. She used very vivid descriptions of how the music effects her, one thing Zora said was “This orchestra grows rambunctious, rears on its hind legs, rending it, clawing it until it breaks through the jungle beyond”, and “I dance wildly inside myself; I yell within, I whoop; I shake my assegai above my head, I hurl it true to the mark yeeeeooww! ”.
Zora seemed hurt when she noticed the music did not effect her the same way as it did the white person sitting next to her. “Good music they have here” was the only remark she heard from him. She seen this man as white as can be then and she felt dark as can be. Even though Zora does feel discriminated against at times, she does not let it turn her into a mean person like much others her race do.
She ends her essay using her descriptive and very creative way of looking at herself as black, and other people of different races.She says “I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall in company with other bags, white, red and yellow. ” Zora says when the contents are poured out most of them are worthless, and maybe if a bit of colored glass is added when they are refilled any altering would matter.
I don’t think we will ever know. But it is how the “great bag of stuffers” as Zora says filled them in the first place.