What point of view is "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" written from?

Hurston writes "How it Feels to Be Colored Me" from the first-person point of view. Readers experience the perspective of a talented, lucky, and optimistic young Black woman enjoying all that New York City during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s has to offer.

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Hurston writes "How it Feels to Be Colored Me" from the first-person perspective. Specifically, she is writing from her point of view as an exceptionally talented young Black woman experiencing the freedom and possibility that life offered in New York City in the 1920s during what was known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Hurston was fortunate to arrive in Harlem in a boom period, when a white society awash in capital had turned its eyes toward supporting the flourishing arts scene in Harlem. Wealthy patrons, such as Charlotte Osgood Mason, believed that what they called "primitive" cultures were superior to white culture. Mason was taken by Hurston, who would perform "primitive" dances for her, and set her up with a generous stipend so that she could write and do an ethnographic study of Black folk culture. Hurston also had the opportunity, as she mentions in the essay, to attend the white Barnard College, now part of Columbia University.

Hurston, though from humble roots, found herself with a level of privilege that most people, whether Black or white, don't experience. This fueled her optimism and her individualism: it was easy for her to believe that other Black people could also transcend racism if they developed a positive attitude and threw themselves actively and headlong into life with their "oyster knives" sharpened.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 18, 2021
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