Zora Neale Hurston
"Characteristics of Negro Expression" (1934)
See on-line essay
- Explain: "His very words are action words" (55).
- Explain: "Every phase of Negro life is highly
dramatized" (55). Is this an accurate statement?
- Explain: "The white man thinks in a written
language and the Negro thinks in hieroglyphics" (56).
- According to Hurston, what are the "Negro's" three
greatest contributions to language?
- Explain: "While he lives and moves in the midst of
a white civilization, every thing that he touches is
re-interpreted for his own use" (63).
- Explain: "An audience is a necessary part of any
- Explain: "Love-making and fighting in all their
branches are high arts" (65).
- Explain: "Musically speaking, the Jook is the most
important place in America" (67).
- Explain: "Everyone seems to think that the Negro is
easily imitated when nothing is further from the truth" (70).
- Explain: "There has been no genuine presentation of
Negro songs to white audiences" (70).
Other Discussion Questions:
- From whence, according to Hurston, does the "need to
- Explain: "There is always rhythm, but it is the
rhythm of segments" (60).
- According to Hurston, how do white and black dancers
- Explain: "Negro folklore is not a thing of the
past. It is still in the making" (61).