How It Feels to Be Colored Me Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

How It Feels to Be Colored Me book cover
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Explain what Hurston means in the second sentence of "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" when she says,"I remember the very day I became colored." What is the effect of the sentence?

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In the second sentence of "How It Feels to Be Colored Me," Hurston says that she remembers the day when she became "colored."  By this statement, Hurston refers to her sense of identity as a person of color.  She goes on in the opening paragraph to explain that as a young girl, she did not feel like her identity was defined by her race because no one made her feel a sense of difference.  However, when Hurston's family sent her to Jacksonville when she was 13-years-old to attend school, she experienced discrimination, which made her feel "colored."  She began to realize that the nature of race relations in America "required" her to see her race in the hierarchy of racial stratification.  Hurston wants the reader to understand that outside socio-political influences imposed on her sense of identity development.

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