In Zora Neale Hurston’s, “How it Feels to be Colored Me” the author reveals to the reader how she feels about being colored. Her sense of humor and wittiness catch the interest of the reader throughout the piece and provides a comic relief to an otherwise serious subject. The author does not let the color of her skin define her as a person, and refuses to let her race’s history cripple her. This is evident when she writes, “… I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a low down dirty deal…” (Hurston 3). Hurston’s perspective on being her social status and skin pigmentation does not cripple her from her aspirations and dreams.
Hurston reveals her wit when she responds to being reminded that she is a descendent of slaves, “It fails to registers depressions with me. Slavery is sixty years in the past. The operation was successful and the patient is doing well, Thank you.” (Hurston 3). Hurston reveals to the reader how she refuses to let the past determine her future. The way Hurston writes motivates the reader to want more of her writing and encourages one to read.
Hurston, Z.N, “How it Feels to be Colored”. The Mercury Reader. Editor: K. Gehan. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2005