How It Feels To Be Colored Me Essay

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Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” highlights the experiences of a woman of color in the early 1920s who is stripped of her personal pride of her own identity by a racist society. Despite her odds, Hurston chooses to mentally combat the racist ideals and beliefs of the time that were being pressured upon her by society. This led her to regain her own personal power in her pride for her identity as a woman of color. Hurston grew up with pride in her identity as a black girl, in a small colored town where it had never been challenged before. Then, as she is introduced to a mixed city for her education, her strength in her cultural identity is challenged by racist beliefs. As she ages, she accepts herself and her importance as …show more content…

She grew up in an “exclusively colored town” where she was surrounded by other individuals who shared many aspects of her identity -- though most importantly, their skin colors. She notes that “the only white people [she] knew passed through the town”. White people did not stay long enough to make her realize that she was drastically different from a larger part of the world. Because of this regularity of passer-byers, “white people never differed from colored to [Hurston] only in that they rode through town and never lived there”. She never felt her pride in her personal identity as a colored woman was challenged by her childhood. At this time, many other children, just like Hurston, only observed white individuals from afar. She says, “[White people] were peered at cautiously from behind the curtains by the timid''. By contrast, Hurston showed a different sense of strength and bravery than the other kids. She preferred to get a closer look at the travelers, saying that “The front porch might seem a daring place for the rest of the town, but it was a gallery seat for me”. She became somewhat comfortable with the idea of white people, though was sheltered by the harsh truth of a racist society by the colored town in which she lived. This mindset led to her shock the day she ventured out of her small, colored town into a larger, predominately …show more content…

The spiritual connection she finds within herself allows her to fully accept her own identity with pride. Hurston says, “I belong to no race nor time”. Hurston does not let her skin color impact how she perceives her own voice and the worth she holds for herself. This idea is built as she adds, “ I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads”. She does not contain herself to the labels regarding her flesh and body on Earth, but rather embraces her soul, which is timeless and labelless. She alludes herself to a goddess, rather than trapped by the label of a woman on Earth. She continues to proclaim, “I am merely a fragment of the Great Soul that surges within the boundaries''. Hurston allows her identity to contribute towards a spiritual cause of a believed higher power. She takes pride in the role that her spirit contributes towards, in that of the plans of her perceived creator. This spiritual ideology means much more to Hurston than the earthly discriminatory labels she receives in her physical current state of living. As she dives deeper into her spiritual beliefs, she mentions a metaphor that references different colored bags with all somewhat the same contents. In regards to the jumble of objects those bags hold, she says, “A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter. Perhaps that is how the Great Stuffer of Bags

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