From the beginning, Hurston startles us: "I remember the very day that I became colored." Why does Hurston insist that one becomes colored? What happened on that day to make her so?
The shift that occurs for Hurston's younger self was not really felt until she was thirteen and sent to Jacksonville to attend school. She writes, as follows:
"I left Eatonville, the town of the oleanders, as Zora. When I disembarked from the river-boat at Jacksonville, she was no more...I was not Zora of Orange County any more, 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."
In Eatonville, a small, predominately black town where black people were marginal but known by the whites who passed through, she is left alone to be herself -- even though that sense of self concerns the black people around her. She makes a note of this when she recalls singing and dancing for whites in exchange for dimes. She recalls how the colored people "deplored any joyful tendencies in me, but I was their Zora nevertheless." She is an innocent, unaware of how her song-and-dance routines satisfy white...
(The entire section contains 536 words.)
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