Zora Neale Hurston As The Writer Of Harlem Renaissance

May 22, 2021 by Essay Writer

Zora Neale Hurston was a writer who did not concern herself with the issues that surrounded her, the main one being the issue of race. It was her world and people were just living in it. She thought it was better to be colored that way she could stand out, she knew that she was someone special so why would she want to fit in with everyone else. Hurston made the statement, “…I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall in the company with other bags, white, red, and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small things priceless and worthless (p. 961).” Hurston did not see color; in other words, she knew that people had different skin colors, but Hurston never paid any mind to that because it was what was on the inside that made everyone equal and showcased their personalities.

Hurston knew that people had similar characteristics, but they also possessed some differences. An example of this is when Hurston and a white person go to The New World Cabaret and she finds herself lost in the music and imagines herself as this African warrior in the jungle, wanting to kill and when the music’s over she looks over to the person who is just sitting all calm and collected. She makes the comment “The great blobs of purple and red emotion have not touched him. He has only heard what I felt… He is so pale with his whiteness then and I am so colored (p. 960).” This shows a strong stereotype among two different cultures, that white people do not appreciate music like black people do.

Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were both writers that focused on the treatment of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston did not shed any bad light on the African American community because in her eyes it was already an uplifted race, she saw nothing wrong. Langston Hughes was the complete opposite; he wrote how African Americans were portrayed in the eyes of white people. In his poem, “I, Too”, Hughes shows the struggles that African Americans had to deal with on a daily basis. Hughes wrote “I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes (p. 1038)” This is a huge contradiction compared to how Hurston views the treatment of African Americans. She was a happy unconcerned person that never saw an issue among races, unlike Hughes where this was one of his main concerns in his writing.

Zora Neale Hurston identified as a person of color since she grew up in a town where the only white people, she saw were the ones driving through on their way to Orlando. She never concerned herself with race and knew that what was on the inside really made the person themselves. Langston Hughes was on the other side of the spectrum. He saw the treatment of African Americans in the eyes of white people and wanted to bring awareness to that issue. Hurston is “too busy sharpening my oyster knife (p. 959)” to be concerned about the feelings or concerns of the people around her.


Read more