Zora Hurston writes a fascinating piece called “How it feels to be Colored Me”. In this
piece she tells of the days before and after she became colored. In the days before she
knew of only one difference between white and blacks. She never paid much mind to the
fact that the rest of the community reacted differently, she did what she wanted. It is the
same for most kids at her age. They never really understand what is happening in the
world around them until the world around them believes they’re old enough to hear the
When Hourston turned thirteen she was sent to a school in Jacksonville. She left
her home as Hourston and enter Jacksonville as a little colored girl. Hourston made the
point that she didn’t mind the label the whites put on her. She wouldn’t get depressed or let
it bother her like the other blacks did. She made the comment “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.” She makes a very good point here that
African Americans tend to have the attitude that they were ripped-off. They blame
everything bad that happens to them on the color of their skin. The world has changed but
to this day some will sit back and ponder your last response wondering if that was a subtle
insult brought upon by the color of their skin.
In the piece “How it Feels to be Colored Me” Hourston also describes an
experience she had with a white person that made her feel the true color of her skin. She
talks about the music making her feel as if she’s in a jungle. “My face is painted red and
yellow and my body is painted blue. My pulse is throbbing like a war drum.” She is feeling
so many different emotions from the music yet these emotions are not shared with the
white man sitting next to her. “He is so pale with his whiteness then and I am so colored.”
She feels the color of their skin makes th…


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