Synthesis Essay: Zora Neale Hurston

Superior Essays
Synthesis Essay
Race and ethnicity are two categories that have always been put to the test. In both Zora Neale Hurston, “How it Feels to be Colored me, and Brent Staples, “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” they realize the effects their race has on their lives. Both individuals grew up in different areas that shaped them differently. Hurston, raised in Eatonville, Florida, an African American town with few to none white folks. While Staples grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania, surrounded by criminal activity that made individuals of his race look fearful. Other than the difference in location, both Hurston and Staples share similar and contrasting views about the effect the color of their skin, disparate ways of coping with the discrimination they face, to empower themselves as African Americans. They embody their race to showcase them stronger individuals, and to show white societies that not all African Americans are the same.
To begin, Hurston and Staples face discrimination through simple actions they portray throughout a normal day. For instance, Hurston’s experience being raised in a predominately African neighborhood deviated her socialization with white Americans. Hurston stated, “…white people
…show more content…
Hurston in a sense celebrates her racial differences but also defines afflictions through strengthening her persona. Hurston defines how important character is perceived over race. Staples criminal stereotype is not something he allowed to define him but he became open-minded and understood the fear that is within white Americans, ultimately allowing him to manipulate public spaces to provide comfort encouraging a different viewpoint on people of his

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