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

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In "How It Feels to Be Colored Me," describe how race shapes Hurston's sense of identity.

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When Zora turns thirteen, she leaves the comforts of her exclusively black town and travels to Jacksonville, where she attends school. The moment she arrives in Jacksonville, Hurston mentions that she went from being "Zora of Orange County" to a little colored girl. She is immediately confronted with the prejudiced perception of society for the first time, but it does not traumatically affect her personal identity. Hurston proceeds to say that she is not "tragically colored" and feels that she is "too busy sharpening [her] oyster knife." Hurston goes on to explain that she chooses to view the positive results of slavery and finds it thrilling that she will receive "twice as much praise or twice as much blame" for any venture she endeavors. In regards to race, Hurston feels relatively lucky that she does not have to deal with the white guilt associated with slavery and enjoys the challenge of succeeding in America as a black woman. Despite how white America chooses to perceive Zora, she...

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