Literary analysis on perception about colored people in America

Literary writings are characterized by the styles employed by the poet. In this case, literary style can be characterized as a linguistic pattern embraced by a writer of his or her own volition to serve an artistic function in transmitting a specific meaning. The author’s linguistic patterns are inextricably linked to his professional identity. Zora Neale Hurston and other African-American authors have used literary talents to express their experiences in the struggle for self-determination in the face of profoundly rooted inequality in society. This comparative essay will focus on the sensibilities and sensitivities of the African-Americans and their perception of what it means to be colored.

The experience and the perception that Zora places on the fact that she is colored is great irrelevance with regard to the extenuating circumstances other than having an uncommon history of having a grandmother without an Indian origin (Hurston, 1991) The history is or marginalization and the fact that the colored people lived in undeveloped neighborhoods which were avoided by the whites. The white people travelled through the town that Zora lived but they were not interested in settling there. Interestingly, the white people would love to see Zora express her skills in singing and dancing and were only appreciative by offering dimes. However, these are happenings of her life beyond her control and she expresses confidence in herself undeterred by the pigmentation in her skin.

According to Zora the experiences of being colored are in a large extent negative but this negativity lays in the individual perception, though the environment is hostile and at times alienated from the white society during this period. The expression of the feelings and the perception associated with being colored in a literature from is related to the Harlem renaissance centered on arts as a way to highlight the plight of the black immigrants. The aspect that this movement was centered on is the international development of non-literary norms associated with the colored people.

The expression of pride and love for the colored people was the main aim of the artistic message created by the Harlem renaissance. The participants in this revolutionary town known as Harlem did not a political philosophy that was common, artistic style, social belief or aesthetic principle but shared common aspirations of equality and racial pride. This artistic movement received a lot animosity and praise in equal measure from the white intelligentsia and black people, questioning the legitimacy of the movement heavily. The literature generated by the Africa Americans gained a global appeal because of the movement and hence its aim on producing the best from the colored people was realized. Reinforcing the sentiments of Zora regarding holding her own key to self-determination and excellence despite the challenges faced because of the stereotypes of being labeled a daughter of a slave, literal expression by African American has a formidable power in realizing social change.

The voice that is speaking in the colored people literature of Zora`s time is on the determination to value their color and live a higher pedestal of placing premium on their own capability as opposed to dwelling on matters related to skin pigment. “Slavery is the price I paid for civilization”, according to Zora and this should only be a driving force to the future without depressing about the events that happened in the past (Hurston, 2015). Essentially, one realizes the color affiliation when faced by a crowd that resonates with the racism intrigues of the past; otherwise, racism is deeply a mentally bred by those who focus on the past despite the progress that has happened in America. The feeling of being alienated or discriminated against is stressing but this is not at any one time anyone`s fault, but is just a matter of fragmentation of people that has systemically grown to fashion our thinking in a particular way. Essentially, Zora has openly expressed her resentments on racism and how people colored people have inferiority complex over issues that they have no control on them.

Langston Hughes was a great poet and resented heavily the Young Turks from a colored American background that aspired to write like white poets claiming that was complete brainwash and denouncing one`s heritage. He too contributed in creating a consciousness in the African-American society that there was any cause for self-hate and low self-esteem in one having a history of slavery and color. In one of his poems he claims, “I am a Negro: Black as the night is black, Black like the depths of my Africa” (Hurston, 2015). Essentially, the poems are completely advocating for the same aspirations as it is for Zora so as to raise the voices and normalize the colored people in an American society that is dominated by the whites.

The literal works by these authors are relevant to the Harlem renaissance movement because they factually serve to reinforce the objectives of the movement. The choice of the tone and the voice by the authors in these particular contexts depend on the experiences in the industries these authors we pursuing on matters racism. The struggle to fight inferiority complex among the black community in America is the main theme exacerbated in these texts as their success is solely dependent on their own determination in the face of racism (Hutchinson, 1995).

The experiences are extensively negative mainly because most people focus on the past which ignites the racial sensitivities that exist in the American society. Harlem renaissance movement was a major historical revolutionary movement by artists in expressing their feelings and social alienations that exist in their society. Racism is reinforced by the factors that create social and cultural alienations that are solely based on stereotypes or the hate that builds up because of a shared history. Cultural civilization is enhanced by deliberate efforts by the members to enhance pride among themselves and the literal skills by Zora and other authors that have been deeply involved in this effort.


Hughes, L. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, 2011 Vintage.

Hurston, Zora N. How It Feels to Be Colored Me, 2015. Print.

Hutchinson, G. The Harlem Renaissance in black and white, 1995. Harvard University Press.

Hurston, Zora N, and Jerry Pinkney. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991. Print.

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