Monday, March 2, 2009
opposition of desegregation
In chapters seventeen to twenty, there are several accounts where Zora Neale Hurston's lifestyle, opinions, beliefs, influences, and attitudes were shown. An important belief that Hurston always believed in was how she opposed desegregation. She believed that blacks were as good as whites that there was no need to even put them together. Why should they have to be put into together? She did not need segregation to tell her she was just as good or better than whites. Being black was something intrinsic to Hurston so she did not feel the need to prove herself.
This belief is shown in certain chapters. An example of this belief in chapter 17, when all the black men ruin items in the Turners house. Hurston says "You see dese no count niggers come in heah and break up mah place" (152) and Hurston also says "We'se goin' back tuh Miami where folks is civilized," (153) and this shows that Mrs. Turner does believes that she is better than the men because she has lighter skin and is more civilized. Hurston made sure that these quotes were added to emphasize how certain colored folks do not need to be put together and its actually better off if they are separated. It also shows that certain people may believe they are better due to their skin color, but in fact they are all the same.
Another example of Hurston's belief of opposing desegregation was in chapter eighteen. Chapter eighteen is the chapter that Tea Cake is forced to bury the dead. At one point when he was burying the dead he "got orders from headquarters. They makin' coffins fuh all de white folks" (171). This order that was demanded shows that Hurston wanted to show how white and black people should not be together. The way they were buried should be separate, just like the way they are going to heaven should be different. Hurston makes it known in many incidents throughout the novel that blacks and whites do not need to be together because blacks do not need to prove to anyone how intelligent, useful, and valuable they can be.