The Effects of Race on Self-Identity in Zora Hurston’s Essay

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The dictionary defines self-identity as The recognition of one’s potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context (Merriam-Webster). Zora Neal Hurston explores her own self-identity in the essay How it Feels Colored Me. Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, although she always considered Eatonville, FL her hometown (www.zoranealshurston.com).

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The essay describes how the white society affects the author’s view of herself and her self-identity, and the way society’s opinion can inspire self-pride. Zora Hurston used variety of metaphors to explore and discuss her journey to develop her self-identity and self-pride.

Zora Hurston was living her life without any feelings of self-identity at her childhood when she was living in the Eatonville town, because she was with same colored people. So, she feels all the people looks like her and she believes everybody Zora. Only she saw some white people crossing the town, everybody else were same colored people. She was self-pride herself   singing and dancing speak pieces(Hutson 1060) and comforting herself by watching on the road side actions in her front porch in that childhood time, but once she moved from her home town for schooling, she became colored girl. She says that . but I was their Zora nevertheless. I belonged to them, to the nearby hotels, to the countyeverybody’s Zora (Hurston 1060). When she departs away from home, she feels gratified with other African American people and she was a chameleon in between the black and white people that came through her town. . Hurston emphasizes the joy she felt in being an intermediary between her own culture and that of the white foreigners: (Heard 145). Hurston’s early experiences with two cultures, set her up to develop a confidence in herself and how she viewed her identity with both groups of people.

I started writing new, but my mind is not working Zora Hurston did not question her self-identity while she was growing up an Eatonville FL, because everyone looked like her and shared her culture. Zora Hurston was describing her everyday life in Eatonville where she had pleasant conversations with her neighbors, sang and danced on the streets of Eatonville; she observed her environment from a comfortable spot on her front porch. During that time, she was everybody’s Zora; free from the separation of feeling of different. Later on, she left home to attend a boarding school where she becomes a colored girl (Hurston 1060).

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