Suzanne Lebsock did a good job writing this book. She used factual historical interpretation to tell you about the way life was in the late nineteenth century when it came to the way black and whites worked together, while still remaining to tell you a good story. Suzanne keeps the reader thinking about the story and not only thinking about the history behind. One way she does this is by making you know the characters in the story. For most of the characters she introduces she puts a little picture on the page and gives a description about them.
To the narrator, having a black and white parent made him “incapable of functioning” in the heavily segregated southern society (Andrews 40). He said he didn’t want to be black because he didn’t want to be associated with “people that could with impunity be treated worse than animals”, but he also didn’t want to be white because it was the white people who abandoned him (Andrew 40). Throughout his adult life, the narrator fights a battle between “raceless personal comfort and race conscious service” (Smith 418). Adding to the narrator’s problems, when he is traveling with his millionaire friend, he sees his father at an opera house with his wife and his daughter. The narrator expresses his feelings of “desolate loneliness” in the situation by saying that he had to “restrain himself from screaming to the audience that in their midst is ‘a real tragedy’(98)”
She begins with her son’s teachers teaching him to be color-blind, and she comments that “the very notion of” color-blindness isn’t a reasonable practice because it promotes “ideological confusion at best and denial” of real and present day issues “at its very worst” (Williams 4). Williams argues that the principle of color-blindness is faulty, because these teachers are trying to promote unity in their classes by leading an example of ignorance between student rather than acceptances of people’s differences. In addition, Williams rhetoric use of pathos encourages the readers emotional attachment to Williams viewpoint, and therefore increases the support of her argument. Another example Williams provides is when she was blatantly confronted with racism on a train and she laments about “how precisely does the issue of color remain so powerfully determinative,...in a world that is, by and large, officially color-blind’?” (Williams 15).
Zora Hurston wrote the memoir How It Feels to Be Colored Me explaining how she is no different than the white man. At first Zora did not realize that she was any different but eventually her race was no longer invisible. Zora explains how she does not consider herself tragically colored and uses metaphors to show her self-confidence. She tries not to think about the hardships of being an African American but she definitely feels them just like everyone else.
Zora Neale Hurston, the author of How It Feels to Be Colored and Me explains through her essay how she created her identity by refusing to victimize herself in societies hands regarding race. She does this effortlessly with the use of diction, syntax, parallelism, and metaphors. Hurston expresses culture and racial pride while overlooks the differences between ‘whites’ and ‘colored’ and introduces her unique individual identity as a colored woman. The essay starts off by Hurston contrasting her childhood to her adult life.
It already gives a hit to the reader that there a problem coming in the poem. Then she continues with the colors “light-bright, near-white, / high-yellow, and red-boned” (3-4), all this colors are all obviously very light. These bright colors stand in the poem as tones of skin mostly light white skin or light tan skin. The last lines of the first stanza “In a black place, were just white lies ” (5-6). In a black place, she means in the almost all black community she is part of as a light bright skin girl.
Many authors choose to write about characters who experience adversity. In “ How it Feels to Be Colored,” Hurston shows that there will always be difficult times, but being able to learn and take an advantage out of the adversity will show a great benefit. Taking a bad experience and being able to know your worth even if most do not will give you an advantage, Hurston says, “ How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” Hurston uses a sense of humor towards discrimnation, The effects of adversity are prominent in my mother’s life.
Her sense of race is affected by the environment she is in, in some places she doesn’t feel “colored”, and so she does not let it hinder her. She tries to get readers to see race and ethnicity as fluid and dynamic as opposed to static and rigid. She wants readers to
1920’s society offered a prominent way for blacks that look white to exploit its barrier and pass in society. Visible within Nella Larsen’s Passing, access to the regular world exists only for those who fit the criteria of white skin and white husband. Through internal conflict and characterization, the novella reveals deception slowly devours the deceitful. In Passing, Clare and Irene both deceive people. They both engage in deceit by having the ability to pass when they are not of the proper race to do so.
The readings for this week are about non-white races who struggle to find their identity in the American culture. Finding oneself in the vast American culture today is already difficult enough for today’s young people; however, in the past where judgement and division was a part of everyday life. Races outside of white had an even tougher life of acceptance. To people of color, striving for acceptance might mean playing by the “mans” rules; thus, behavior and the awareness of one’s place in America is pertinent in everyday life. This awareness must consist of not only the individual, but also of one’s racial background.
“How it feels to be colored me” written by Zora Neale Hurston is a descriptive essay on her journey of feelings. This essay summaries writer’s discovery of her race and her number experiences where she has felt her race. The overall tone conveyed by Hurston’s essay “how it feels to be colored me” is optimistic, pretty much self-assuring and most importantly victorious. Optimistic as an throughout the essay she has always been positive and not let anyone’s opinion or action affect her believes and kept believing that slavery was just a matter of history it does not exist anymore.
In How It Feels To Be Colored Me by Zora Neal Hurston well as in The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr both authors convey what it feels like to be face with race issues. The two essays shed light on the social issues in different ways. The essays show the struggles of life when those around the two authors do not fully grasp the concept. Both Hertz and King use tone, their audience, and point of view to get their point across with the goal of bringing a better understanding to their audience.
The author uses descriptions like “in that Jamaican schoolroom” (ln 5). This allows the reader to picture the setting that Allison’s mother was being taught in. The author uses the words. “ dark, sun-ripened skin” (ln. 11), to describe the color of her mothers and the other school children’s skin color. The author uses these words to get the point across that these black Jamaican children were being taught by white British teachers.
By utilizing a varying sentence structure, McKnight is able to shape tet text into almost command-like statements, declaring the importance of each and every word. This technique portrays the somewhat negative mood of the short story but also highlights the first matter at hand, racism. Integrating parataxis at the opening of the story lets McKnight arrange fragments that play off of each other and also be direct and declarative; additionally, the transparent nature of this emphasizes that McKnight is not going to beat around the bush about the important subject of race that he expands upon with this piece of literature. Even just in the introduction, there is a clear statement that racism exists is made by using the terms “black” and “white” in a stereotyping
In addition to cultural dispute with appearance, she displays a dispute with her appearance in size. Cofer states that she was described as the “4F, skinny, short, bespectacled” (Cofer 326) I believe that people tend to focus too much on what the right definition of appearance is, however there is no solid definition. Society’s standards on appearance shouldn’t be driven from a person’s cultural background. While she had to learn the consequences of being a brown girl, she also had to readjust her own perceptions of beauty to fit in the mainstream perception.