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

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What does Hurston mean when she says she remembers the day she became colored?

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Hurston is referring to the moment or situation in which she first became aware of her ethnicity. Before then, she was completely immersed in an environment in which she was surrounded by people who looked like her. The only exceptions were when white people from the north and the south traveled through their town. Even in these instances, their comings and goings were not significant. 

When the author refers to Southerners and Northerners passing through, the only distinction she makes is that the former were generally disregarded because everyone knew them and the latter deserved special attention since they were regarded with a certain amount of skepticism and trepidation. However, those who ventured forth and engaged with the Northerners derived much pleasure from the brief contact, as did the travelers themselves.

Hurston informs us that:

During this period, white people differed from colored to me only in that they rode through town and never lived there.

This means that the...

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