Essay: zora neale hurston and black experience in america



Zora Neale Hurston is perhaps one of the mostly widely read authors associated with the Harlem Renaissance – Their Eyes Were Watching God is her most well-known work. However, during her own lifetime, Hurston was a very controversial figure. Her work was often considered to be too “black” for many white publishers who shunned her realistic portrayals of African American life, particularly in the South. When Their Eyes Were Watching God was first published, the influential black novelist Richard Wright criticized Hurston, stating that “Miss Hurston voluntarily continues in her novel the tradition which was forced upon the Negro in theater, that is, the minstrel technique that makes ‘white folks’ laugh.” The black minstrel shows of the nineteenth and early twentieth century mainly consisted of white actors playing the role of black people. Their comedy was based on racist stereotypes and portrayals of black people as ignorant and buffoonish. Occasionally black actors would be cast in the shows, and there were even some all black minstrel groups. To a certain extent, it is true that Hurston worked in the black minstrel tradition. The question is whether or not her work in this tradition remains connected to racial stereotyping. Or perhaps it represents a sophisticated effort to reappropriate black culture, while also enticing white audiences to pay for productions which they perceived to be extensions of the more racist minstrel shows with which they were more familiar.

In order to gain a better understanding of Hurston’s complex relationship to her own racial and cultural identity, you will first read an essay about how Hurston came to study anthropology and ethnography (see “The Wellspring of Zora Neale Hurston’s Creative Imagination” in Reading 5Preview the document). After reading this essay, you will read and/or listen (Links to an external site.) to “Lawing and Jawing”.

In your essay, you will consider Hurston’s portrayal of black culture in her one-act play. Do you tend to agree with Richard Wright’s characterization of Hurston’s work? In this play, is she simply perpetuating racist stereotypes of black people? Why or Why not? Additionally, you might consider examining what aspects of the play seem to offer a more complex portrayal of black culture. Are there aspects of the play in which you can see her effort to capture the creativity and adaptability of black language?

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more

STAY HOME, SAVE LIVES. Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code ATOM