What is it to be an American? What is it to be an american? This question is very different for everyone who considers themselves american. Some people who are white thinks it’s about the land of the free and home the brave. People who are black think it’s the sports or depending on the neighborhood you are from. People who are from foreign countries think being an american is to have better living situations and getting better paying jobs. People who have different ethnic backgrounds think it’s about about getting away from your culture traditions or finding themselves. Being an american has different perceptions on everyone lives and what it means to them. For Zora Neale Hurston being an american was embracing who she was as a black person in america. She once expressed that she felt as if she was the only person who grandfather on her mother’s side was not an indian chief and that being said she wasn’t mixed with anything or have multiple ethnicities. That was the day she actually realized that she was black, she grew up in a little negro town of Eatonville, Florida. She never experience being with any other ethnic but the white people who passed through going to or coming from Orlando. When Zora was thirteen she was sent to a school in Jacksonville and was seen a little colored girl, she found that out in certain ways. According to Zora Neale ” Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves” she is referring that everyone is constantly reminding that she is black and her ancestors were once slaves. She doesn’t allow herself to be be depressed or let the negativity affect her but she is tired of everyone trying to determine who she is as a person. ” No, I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife” Zora Neale Hurston is saying she has a lot of better things to do or worry about then to be shedding tears for the world so zora does not care about the hate that is surrounding her and doesn’t let affect her goals. Being an american for Zora Hurston knowing who you are and not letting people determine who you should be. Also you are not who ancestor are and words can’t hurt you if you don’t inhale it in.