On Being Young-a Woman-and Colored
- Length: 357 words (1 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Marita Bonner starts her short essay by describing the joys and innocence of youth. She depicts the carefree fancies of a cheerful and intelligent child. She compares the feelings of such abandonment and gaiety to that of a kitten in a field of catnip. Where the future is opened to endless opportunities and filled with all the dream and promises that only a youth can know. There are so many things in the world to see, learn, and experience that your mind in split into many directions of interest. This is a memorable time in life filled with bliss and lack of hardships.
Then the story slowly slides into a time of testing all you've learned with `acid testing', moment to see if what you learned is truly somehow connected and a part of you. Where you realize that "All your life you have heard of the debt you owe `Your People' because you have managed to have the things they have not largely had." In other words, for a colored person, your life was quite blessed in a time filled with the ignorance of racism. While you lived a splendid life, others who are colored suffered great hardships just for the color of their skin. Since you were lucky, you should give something back to the colored community so that others may be afforded a life such as yours.
At this point of the story it is reflective of a teenager. A teenager is at a time in life where boundaries and knowledge is merely a challenging thing to test and in some instances hurdled. Where even though you may realize the responsibilities and resources you have, there is still a longing for the more sunny feelings of youth.
Marita then speaks of how you feel more like a `prodigal' if you have never lived among your own. That you feel like a phenominum because you were not raised among other people of your color. If I may be as so bold to assume to compare the feeling to that of what Phillis Wheatley must have felt.
Then a description of the education of one's heritage and the culture becomes somewhat overwhelming. The culture and passion of the people are so great she describes it almost like an ocean current that is warm and strong that flows within the people and seems to just pull you in.
How to Cite this Page
|Alienation in The Revolver, Housewife, and How it Feels to Be Colored Me - When society thinks of the term alienation, are they referring to the person ostracized by society or are they referring to the person who is psychologically separated from themselves. There are several different uses of this term. However, two uses seem to be especially predominating: the sociological processes and the psychological states. In “The Revolver,” “Housewife,” and “How it feels to be colored me,” Bazan, Chughtai, and Hurston respectively, relate both the social and the psychological aspects of alienation with respect to fear, oppression, and identity.... [tags: How It Feels to Be Colored Me]||1942 words|
| The Women of "For Colored Girls" Essay - “For Colored Girls” is comprised of seven women who represented a different shade of the rainbow. The colors are brown, red, yellow, white, green, orange and blue. Their costumes and make-up transformed each of them and were symbolic of the color their character embodied. The ensemble acting made all of their roles of equal importance, without one dominating the other. These women together formed a bond through their various adversities, gradually taking them from strangers to acquaintances. From an objective view, the audience is allowed to simply observe the events as they take place (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011, pg.... [tags: Film Review ]|
:: 5 Works Cited
| Criminally Colored Essay - Gray can pass as black or white; this statement does not make logical sense to anyone who knows the color spectrum. So why would it make sense that someone of mixed-race could pass as either white or black in apartheid South Africa. During apartheid, South Africa was divided into three racial classes: White, Colored, and Black. Furthermore, the determination of class was based purely on physical characteristics and assigned by government administration. Some argue that it was actually an advantage for people to be of mixed-race, or colored, in South Africa so that they could enjoy the freedom of any racial class and pass in any situation.... [tags: Literary Analysis ]|
:: 2 Works Cited
| On James Weldon Johnson’s “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” Essay - When the narrator of Johnson’s novel falls in love, it is to music he turns to express that emotion to his intended one (149). She in turn answered in kind, letting the notes and tempo combine with her words in expression of her love returned to him. The relevance of music in Johnson’s novel should not be undercut by the other issues within the confines of his text. Exploring the meaning of this inclusion will be to explore the theme of music itself. It will encompass the examination of the style of music, the generation in which the story takes place along with the issues of race.... [tags: Literary Analysis ]|
:: 8 Works Cited
| A woman's life in the Middle Ages Essay - In today’s society, marriage and family life are considered the center of our societal make-up. Everything that we do in life is affected by our familial relationships. That being true, is it any surprise that the same could be said of the families of the Middle Ages. In fact, in a way marriage and family life was even more important then. A person’s family affected every instance of an individual’s life. Coming from a good family, with a reputable reputation for breeding, greatly improved a woman’s chances of a good marriage.... [tags: Marriage, Family, Society]|
:: 22 Works Cited
| Essay about Story of A Transgender Woman: Nong Toom - Make(ing) Up Gender The lights flashed on and off twice indicating that the show was about to begin. The excited audience crowded together into compact rows of folding seats. The bar, located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, stank of stale Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and cheap whiskey. The walls were covered with decapitated and mutilated mannequins with messages like “Fuck Gender. Just Fuck PEOPLE!” written in permanent marker. As an alluring song began to play the performer took the stage; his dark green army uniform was perfectly contoured around his muscular form, a large bulge in his pants was plainly visible, and his mustache was thick and black.... [tags: Gender Roles, Women, Men]|
:: 2 Works Cited
| Daisy Buchanan: A Woman as Roaring as the Twenties Essay - Rosie the Riveter, star of the American World War II poster who sports the iconic workers’ jumpsuit and red bandanna, was a symbol for modern, emancipated women in the 1950s, before becoming a mere representation of vintage artwork. The independence that this character models is represented by Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy, in The Great Gatsby, who at first glance seems to oppose this. Her innocence and purity, however, can be easily deconstructed, because she both supports the traditional image of women, and challenges it, fitting perfectly into the context of ideological transformation of the 1920s.... [tags: Keats, Fitzgerald, icons]|
:: 6 Works Cited
|The American Dream in And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, and America is in the Heart - Millions of people of all nationalities came to America during the twentieth century with the hope of finding a new and better life for themselves. These immigrants were lured by the thought of obtaining the American Dream--"life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" in the "land of opportunity." Unfortunately, few immigrants were actually successful in achieving the dream. Most were faced with hardship and discrimination, instead of the expected equality and freedom. The dire living conditions hampered their ability to pursue "happiness" and created what W.E.B.... [tags: Comparative Literature]||870 words|
| Essay about Analysis of A Woman´s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source by Susan Sontag - In "A Woman's Beauty: Put-down or Power Source," Susan Sontag portrays how a woman's beauty has been degraded while being called beautiful and how that conceives their true identity as it seems to portray innocence and honesty while hiding the ugliness of the truth. Over the years, women have being classified as the gentler sex and regarded as the fairer gender. Sontag uses narrative structure to express the conventional attitude, which defines beauty as a concept applied today only to women and their outward appearance.... [tags: beauty, appearence, language, identity]|
:: 4 Works Cited
| The Theme of Isolation in On Being a Cripple, How it Feels to Be Colored Me, and The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me - The theme of isolation is utilized in writing to shape the principal characters and provide a particular vision on some crucial aspects of their identities. Authors such as Nancy Mairs in, “On Being a Cripple” Zora Neale Hurston in, “How it Feels to Be Colored Me” and Sherman Alexie in, “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me”, offer us characterization to set the theme of isolation in their writing. In “On Being a Cripple” Mairs examines the public’s view of the disabled, as well as the views they have of themselves, and compare them to her own.... [tags: How It Feels to Be Colored Me]|
:: 3 Works Cited
Being Young Colored Memorable Time Phillis Wheatley Other People Instances Heard Abandonment Yours
Such an experience is mixed with a multitude of negative things that one is not only overwhelmed but has a distinct moment of being dragged down, tangled up, and unable to free one's self. There is now a reality where the character of a person is not established by intelligence, skills, or morals, but on hatred and bias beliefs for having colored skin. Marita depicts a life where " Milling around like live fish in a basket. Those at the bottom crushed into a sort of stupid apathy by the weight of those on top. Those on top leaping, leaping; leaping to scale the sides; to get out. These sentences is that of someone who has
In 1922 Bonner graduated from Radcliffe and began teaching at Bluefield Colored Institute (now Bluefield State University) in Bluefield, West Virginia. Two years later, in 1924, she abandoned the isolation of southern West Virginia to take a teaching position at all-black Armstrong High School in Washington, D.C. When both parents died within a year of her relocation to Washington, Bonner turned to writing to address her grief. Her first essay, "Being Young-A Woman- And Colored" was published in December of 1925 by The Crisis magazine. The essay addressed the discrimination that African Americans and in particular black women faced at the time. The essay called on young black women to rely on their strength and resilience in dealing with these situations.
Soon after her initial success Bonner was drawn into a circle of Washington, D.C. writers, poets, playwrights, and composers who met regularly at composer Georgia Douglass Johnson's "S" street salon. With their encouragement, Bonner for the next five years wrote a series of short stories which appeared in Crisis and in Opportunity, the magazine for the National Urban League. During this time she met her future husband William Almy Occomy. The couple married in 1930 and the following year moved to Chicago where Bonner over the next decade enjoyed her greatest success as a short story writer. Most of her stories in the Chicago period centered around a fictitious Frye Street and Environs which included a multiracial and multicultural universe of people drawn to Chicago by the promise of urban life. As with her earlier work these writings emphasized self-improvement through education.
In 1941 Bonner abandoned writing to care for her family which now included three children. She returned to teaching and remained in Chicago's public school system until her retirement in 1963. Eight years later in 1971 Bonner died on December 7, 1971 of complications from smoke inhalation after her Chicago apartment caught fire.
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Joyce Flynn and Joyce O. Stricklin, eds., Frye Street and Environs: The Collected Works of Marita Bonner (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987); Jessie Carney Smith, Notable Black American Women, Book II (Detroit-London: Gale Research Inc, 1996) http://voices.cla.umn.edu/vg/Bios/entries/bonner_marita_odette.html
Contributor:University of Washington