Discussing “A Bit of Our Harlem”

What is the main conflict?

This story does not have a big conflict. It is more of a snapshot of Harlem shown through a conversation between a young boy and a young lady. 

Who is the central character?

The story is told from the point of view of the young lady. We learn her inner thoughts generated by her conversation with a young child.

How did the story make me feel?

This story impressed me with the way that Hurston can paint a clear picture of a place and setting with such simple and clear language. Her use of analogies allows her to capture the emotions of the characters and the mood of the time period. I could really see this story in my mind.

For example:

“The boy approached the table where the girl sat with the air of a homeless dog who hopes that he has found a friend.”

I got a strong feeling of how tough it was to live in Harlem during the 20s yet still see the love and humanity of the people who made up the community. The kindness of the young lady and the appreciation of the young boy are so tangible.

What questions did this stories raise in my mind?

This story does not raise any questions in my mind. It is just a nice short story that paints a picture of kindness shared between two people who are facing challenges. How kindness and love can come to you from anyone and that is not always from the people you expect it from. 

Who would find this story interesting?

This story is very short and easy to read. This is a good story for adults and young readers.

More discussions of Hurston's short stories.