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Books

Depiction Of Zora Neale Hurston’s Experiences In How It Feels To Be Colored Me

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-20th-century American South and published research on Haitian Vodou. The most popular of her four novels is Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. In my opinion, the story exhibits the idea that society forces you to conform to one specific idea of yourself so that you can be a specific person in society.

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me” Zora Neale Hurston. In “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” By Zora Neale Hurston describes her experiences as an African American in the early 20th century, who did not think much about her skin color until she moved to Jacksonville, where she was no longer known as Zora. Her new name was “the little colored girl”. 

“In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.” – Erik Erikson. What is identity? An identity is who a person is. An Identity is a way a person views and sees themselves in a way that no one else does. The concept of an identity a general idea of the way you see yourself. The way you present yourself to the world. A piece of you that can never be forgotten. Huston talks about her experience with moving from a black neighborhood where she was like every other person into a community where she had to define herself to find a place.

Identity is more than what you see yourself as. Identity is something that can be found among everyone. Culture is the knowledge of a certain group embracing their religion, language. “You showed us that identity is something we are all grappling with, and common themes emerged including culture, language, gender and the movement of people.” Knowing your identity involves knowing what makes you, you. For many people, they symbolize who they are. How they live their lives. Their culture is the foundation of their identity because it’s something that you can never let go of. Being raced in West Africa (Ghana) my culture is all I know. My culture taught me values, how to form into a better woman. How to treat others. Your cultural Identity can tell a story without words.

The way you choose to identify yourself can be in multiple ways. One way can be in the form of dressing. The Ashanti tribe is one of the most popular amongst ghana. One of the ways they identify themselves amongst other tribes is by wearing kente. Kente is a ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom, kente comes in strips measuring about 4 inches wide and sewn together into larger pieces of cloth. “Each of the cloth has a name and a meaning, names and meanings are derived from historical events, individual achievements, proverbs, philosophical concepts, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, human behavior, and certain attributes of plant and animal life.” The kente is worn with expensive beads. Beads are a sense of pride, culture, power, and identity. The beads have different meanings depending on the color you have. Mixed colors symbolize wealth and social status, blUe is fertility, reds are reserved for funerals, black implies age and wisdom, yellow means high rank and gold is for long life. “Beads can also convey identity and cultural significance – for example, if a woman is married or a man is a warrior or an elder. Beads also signify a person’s rank. African beads are also associated with Christianity and Islam, just as those religions use prayer beads in other parts of the world.” This can help someone from an idea of who they are or help to choose who they want to become.

Everyone has different ways of choosing to identify oneself or coming to a realization with their identity. In the article “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston talks about the first time she realized that she had “lost” one identity and gotten a new one when her family decided to move out Eatonville to Jacksonville. Hurston was no longer known as “Zora of Orange County”. She was known as the little colored girl. “I was not Zora of Orange County anymore, I was now a little colored girl. I found it out in certain ways. In my heart as well as in the mirror, I became a fast brown – warranted not to rub nor run.” Hurston came to realizing with the identity that the world sees her as when she looked in the mirror and it was something that she knew was a part of her.

“I am colored but I offer nothing in the way of extenuating circumstances except the fact that I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on my mother’s side was not an Indian chief.”.One way the author Zora Hurston decides to claim her black identity is by taking a jab at the fact that African Americans do not claim their Native American ancestry. When Hurston says that “I am the only negro in the united states whose grandfather was not an Indian chief”

Identity can mean different things to different people. Knowing your identity to me is knowing who you are. Knowing the history in which you came from. Being one with yourself. Having an identity is being proud of where you are from and standing in your truth no matter what anyone says. Identity is not something that someone can choose for you. Your identity is something that stands you out in a big crowd. “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” 

Being from Ghana is one of my treasured identity. Being born and raised in Ghana helped me become the woman I am today. I was taught to respect anyone and everybody no matter the color of their skin, their background, and their ghana. I wear the colors of my flags proud and loud. The colors red, yellow (gold) green and black. The red never forget to remind me of the blood of those who died for the independence of the motherland, the gold represents the wealth of the country, the green is for the rich forests and the black star is the symbol of Africa emancipation. Knowing the truth behind the history of your identity is something that I believe to be one of the most important things. Due to the fact that you cannot say that you from somewhere and not know the history behind the country. Not know why that country is what it is now. The people that helped became what it was/is.

My identity means a lot to be due to the fact that it’s the first impression that the world sees. Your Identity is part of your character. Your identity is who you are. What makes an individual them. My Identity includes me knowing my preferences, how I look at things or even how I think about certain things even including my strengths and weaknesses.

As I would like to think, the story shows that society drives you to fit in with one explicit thought of yourself so you can be a particular individual in the public eye. An Identity is a way individual perspectives and sees themselves such that nobody else does. The idea of a personality a general thought of the manner in which you see yourself. Realizing your character includes comprehending what makes you, you. It symbolizes what their identity is. How they live their lives. My way of life encouraged me esteems, how to frame into a superior lady. Step by step instructions to treat others. Your social Identity can recount a story without words.

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