In her 1928 essay, "How It Feels to be Colored Me," Zora Neale Hurston meticulously understates the hardships of being black.
Among many occupations held by Hurston, she was that of an anthropologist who studied the origin, behavior, social, and cultural development of humans.Hurston was not justifying the stereotypes of being Colored.Throughout "How It Feels to be Colored Me" she provides opportunities to use being Black as a method of empowerment as opposed to an aspect of tragedy.Hurston illustrates how she used whites for entertainment just as they did her; she points out the power and beauty of womanhood outside of race, and later states the controversial theory that slavery was the price paid for civilization. During a time when Blacks would hardly approach white people, Hurston found it most amusing to not only entertain them but to be a recipient as well.
Hurston was immerged in a Negro community so white tourists were quickly noticed when traveling.Rather than cautiously watching them from a distance, as the majority did, Hurston delighted herself in being the head of the welcoming committee.She would wave, salute, sing and dance around on her front porch, which she refers to as her "gallery seat," until she engaged the tourist in play.She found them intriguing, and her performances intrigued them.They were intrigued in several ways to the less than thirteen year old.
These white tourists enjoyed, even rewarded Hurston for her "joyful tendencies."While the Negro community condemned her for her outgoing antics, white tourists would give her silver for her performance.The white tourists may have used Hurston for their entertainment.To watch a young, vibrant, outgoing Black child prance around, singing, dancing, and surveying them could tend to be amusing.
In retrospect, Hurston must have felt quite excited holding "the center of the national stage, with s…