Democracy Definition From Zora Neale Hurston

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When I think of the word “democracy”, a couple different concepts come to my mind immediately. ‘Community’, ‘participation’, and ‘republic’ are the three of them, and what binds all of them together is the idea of people. We as individuals, as groups, and as a society have a duty to make sure democracy survives. Without us, there would be no democracy. So ideally, I believe that we are all responsible for it, but if we don’t communicate and participate, our so called “democracy” is going to vanish.

As American citizens we have multiple rights that we can exercise to actively participate in our democracy. Voting, serving the jury, and running for office are just a few examples. The sad part though, is that a lot of times, citizens choose not to participate. We have the right to voice our opinions and thoughts, but I hear people say all the time that they don’t want to participate. This devastates me, because it reminds of the past, and how some individuals wanted to participate so badly, but could not.

After reading the first article, an individual named Zora Neal Hurston faced a lot of difficulty trying to participate, and the Jim Crow Laws were the main reasons for it.

By creating this article and voicing her opinion, Zora Neal Hurston is somewhat participating in democracy. Her political excerpt becomes a voice for not only her life, but for the many lives constrained under the Jim Crow Laws. I wish she could have participated fully; but because she was African American and a women, she could not vote.

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Her voice was still important in order to have an effective democracy though. A true democracy revolves around all people, no matter their skin color or race. This also plays into the fact that we need to think of democracy as a process because nothing can be 100% agreed upon, and nothing can be 100% accurate. In Zora Neal Hurston’s case, I feel as if democracy was not like a process. Rich white folks made policies without the entire community participating in creating them, and it specifically affected Zora Neal Hurston because she couldn’t be an active participant in “the presence of numerous Jim Crow laws” (Hurtson, 1).

It is very necessary to have an effective voice like hers because it reminds us of the diversity that thrives in our opinions and in our community. It’s a reminder that there are going to be multiple perspectives on political topics.In today’s society, I do feel like this is “the way of life”. However, I still find a lot of people ignoring the duty to actively participate.. In order for our society to be more polished, we need everyone to vote and actively participate. This also runs hand in hand with the idea that democracy should extend to your workplace. My family runs multiple businesses, and I always find that the more the employees voice their opinions and perspectives on business tactics, the better our environment becomes. Not all of our policies are 100% amazing, so when the employees come together and try to find better solutions, I always see a better future for our business. As stated in the article, with my own experience, I can agree that our business meetings and cooperative tasks “encourage, a sense of pride, equality, and responsibility that strengthens the business” (TWW, 1).

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Democracy Definition From Zora Neale Hurston. (2022, May 15). Retrieved from

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