In concept of being “tragically colored” (Hurston, 1060).

In Zora Neale Hurston’s 1928 essay “How It Feels
to Be Colored Me”, Hurston exudes through the statement “Slavery is the price I
paid for civilization” that the then way of civilization and the treatment of
colored people was a direct result of slavery. On the account of slavery, white
people made it a norm to see people of color as inferior and lower class. While
on the other hand, colored people were desensitized to see that although they
had the means to turn their lives around with the freedom that they did have instead
they hung onto the concept of being “tragically colored” (Hurston, 1060). From
the age of thirteen, Hurston was always aware of her colored skin however she
did not let it define her very being nor restrict her in any way. Yes, slavery
was a tragic time in history however it is a period of time that is in the past
and therefore is not a matter to “weep” over for there are far bigger and
better things to do and accomplish (Hurston, 1060). Even in spite of the fact
that she is made to constantly recall that she is the “grand-daughter of slaves”,
Hurston does not brood over it (Hurston, 1061). Granted the predisposed treatment
of colored individuals was unjust, Hurston did not perceive it as all bad as it
filled her with a sense of inspiration and motivation “No one on earth ever had
a greater chance for glory” (Hurston, 1061). Hurston expresses through this
essay that the treatment of colored people was due to the fact that the social
norms between white and colored people during slavery was kept long after
slavery was abolished. She also conveys that although white people should leave
the old ways of treatment towards people of color, colored people should also
do their part in letting go of the past and acknowledge that they can take the
opportunities that life has to offer.