Visionaries are people who see the world in a fresh and unique way and Zora Neale Hurston, in my opinion, was one. She considered every human being as an equal and never let anyone let her think the opposite. In her essay “How It Feels To Be Colored Me,” Hurston shows us how proud she is about being a girl of color in a world full of discrimination against black people. I applaud her attitude because she shows that there is no better weapon to fight discrimination than having a high level of self-esteem. I close my eyes and I can see Zora as a little girl living in the little Negro Town of Eatonville in Florida- a town exclusively for blacks. It is very remarkable that even though while most of the black people were feeling intimidated by the whites, Zora never felt afraid or even a bit intimidated by their presence. Moreover, our Zora engaged in conversation with white folks and even had a favorite place in which she was able to greet the people who passed by with a nice “Howdy-di-well-I-thank-you-where-you-goin.” What it is also quite interesting is the fact that little Zora does not feel upset for being a colored girl even when she has to spend more time among whites once her family sends her to school in Jacksonville. She does not want to see herself as different from others, however, she understands that she is different from others because she is a “little colored girl” and even confesses that “I feel most colored when I am throw against a sharp white background.” Her self esteem is so elevated that she feels different only when she is surrounded by white folks. In fact, little Zora is too busy thinking on getting ready to discover the world- her “oyster”- as she states that there is no need on stopping and thinking why is she different from others when she says that "I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife." Zora does not let anything or anyone upset her even though there is always someone reminding her that she is the granddaughter of slaves. Zora is very aware that slavery has been gone for years, so there is no reason for her to feel depressed over the fact that she is a descendent of slaves, "Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves. It fails to register depression with me," instead she feels proud of her lineage as she argues that “Slavery is the price I paid for civilization” enforcing the fact that there have not been anyone who had experimented the glory of freedom as the slaves once did. Another thing that I love about Zora is her great sense of humor when she says: “In my heart as well as in the mirror, I became a fast brown-warranted not to rub or run” meaning that although sometimes she might feel discriminated, she never feels angry because she remarks that ".
..I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes...I do not belong to the sobbing school of negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are hurt about it…..No, I do not weep at the world, I am busy sharpening my oyster knife.” I also love how she always keeps her sense of humor and her level of self esteem, "Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me,” because this is how she shows us that deep in her heart she knows that everyone, regardless of their color, will always feel, in a way, discriminated. Moreover, Zora reminds us that we all live in a world in where people might look different but still we all are the same: “I feel like a bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall in company with other bags, white, red, and yellow” She also reminds us that underneath all we were all created by the same “Great Stuffer of Bags”-God- making a strong remarkthat to those who believe in God should consider that he looks upon us the same regardless of our color, race and belief. Hurston ends the essay with the metaphor of a “Brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall” in the company of “other bags of red, white and yellow”. Each bag represents each and every component of the society as we know it, multiracial and multicultural- a variety of colors. Race, to Zora, is an aspect of her that does not make her different but aware of racial diversities.. The great moral of How It Feels To Be Colored Me is how one cannot elevate race, but elevate oneself by keeping a high level of self-esteem and love for who one is. Hurston’s essay serves as mirror to her rebelling against the racial boxes of her time, boxes that were and are not only inaccurate, but kept every one- regardless of color- from being fully human.