The "Pet Negro" system

By Zora Neale Hurston

  • Release Date: 2023-04-03
  • Genre: Classics


In her novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Zora Neale Hurston introduces the concept of the "pet negro" system. This system refers to the way in which white people in the South treated their black servants or workers during the time period in which the novel is set (early 20th century). These black individuals were often treated like pets, with white people feeling a sense of ownership over them and expecting them to be subservient and obedient. This system is a reflection of the deep-seated racism and oppression that existed in the South during this time period and serves as a commentary on the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Jim Crow laws.