Zora Neale Hurston speaks to the fact that her identity feels colored only in contrast to whites and after being identified as such upon leaving her small town in Florida for school in a city which wasn't familiar to her. Before leaving home, when tourists would visit, she considered herself as just Nora:
During this period, white people differed from colored to me only in that they rode through town and never lived there [...] The colored people gave no dimes. They deplored any joyful tendencies in me, but I was their Zora nevertheless. I belonged to them, to the nearby hotels, to the county—everybody's Zora.
Ms. Hurston didn't view herself as “tragically colored,” meaning, she did not lament her condition...
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