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What does Zora Neal Hurston identify as the Characteristics of Negro Expression In 1933 Zora Neil Hurston wrote Characteristics of Negro Expression to frame the Negro or African-American as she saw him She saw the results of the Great Migration as terrifying and spasmodic unbearably inhumane and devastating to those left behind For Hurston rural black people were being forgotten disappearing amidst the heady enthusiasm of the urban New Negro Movement In Hurstons essay she describes the different concepts of what it meant to be a black American in the South She sees the new Negro as encompassing theses elements being dramatic having the will to adorn being angular asymmetrical dancing folkloric having originality mimicry non-reserve having a peculiar dialect and hanging out at the jook or pleasure house These are just a few of the compositional elements used to described the forgotten Negro in the south By reexamining Hurstons essay critiques will have a proper understanding of these social characteristics and will have a better understanding of the African-American in relation to his identity Hurston was part of the Talented Tenth an elite group of well educated African-American professionals who argued that the mission of establishing black identity and thus gaining social acceptance and economic and political stability would be vitally strengthened through arts and letters Hurstons work and criticism have helped to shape the manner in which black American artists and academics view themselves Also how they emphasize humanness inherent in black people through referencing the diversity of voices and talents in black America in the South as well as their essential connection through legacy to the African continent Hurston begins her essay with the first characteristic of the southern Negro expression Drama in which she describes almost every phase of African-American existence as being highly dramatizedHurston 296 She further states that No matter how joyful or how sad the case there is sufficient poise for drama Caponi 294 To this end
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