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

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In Zora Neale Hurston's essay "How It Feels to be Colored Me," what happens when she goes to The New World Cabaret?

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Hurston's anecdote about being in the New World Cabaret emphasizes the transformative nature of jazz music on her personality. In this essay about how she feels about being a black woman in 1920s Harlem, New York, the author reiterates that she does not feel depressed or oppressed by her race. She does admit to sometimes "feeling her color" more in certain contexts (as when she is surrounded by white people).

At the jazz club, Zora feels herself overtaken by the jazz music. Inside her own mind, she imagines being swept into a vibrant and wild environment. She carefully contrasts her response with the conservative behavior of her white male companion, who is "sitting motionless in his seat, smoking calmly." In contrast, Zora's description of her emotions is colorful and exciting. She references "primitive fury" and desribes a jungle setting. Inside, she dances and yells "wildly" as her feelings are piqued by the music. Zora completely embraces this unrestrained side of herself and observes...

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