Langston Hughes’ “Cora Unashamed” is probably one of my favorite short stories . The Ways of White Folks is probably even one of my favorite. In the short story “Cora Unashamed,” by. Langston Hughes, Cora Jenkins is a black maid for the Studevant family in Iowa. In this particular town. Summary The author Langston Hughes provides an emotional story about African-American Ma Jenkins and her eldest daughter Cora worked as servants for.

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The Ways of White Folks is probably even one of my favorite short story collections. I began to turn over in my mind a story that a young lawyer in California, Loren Miller, had told me. All three of these men enjoyed her favors.

The girl became pregnant. At any rate, the doctor performed an abortion on her and she died.

The undertaker who had courted her took charge of her body. The minister preached her funeral. Since all the colored people of suort town knew that each one of these men had been intimate with the girl, they wondered what would happen at her funeral.

All three men were present, but nothing happened.

She was just buried. The Negro girl became a white girl of middle-class family, whose parents did not want her to fall in love with an immigrant Greek boy whose father ran an ice-cream stand.


“Cora Unashamed” by Langston Hughes

Watch a scene from the PBS version of the story: Melton was one of those miserable in-between little places, not large enough to be a town, nor small enough to be a village that is, a village in the rural, charming sense of the word. Melton had no charm about it. And it was miles stroy any city at all—even Sioux City. Cora Jenkins was one of the least of the citizens of Melton. She had been in Melton for forty years. Would die there probably.

She worked for the Studevants, who treated her like a dog. Had to stand it; or work for poorer white folks who would treat her worse; or go jobless.

Cora was like a tree—once rooted, she stood, in spite of storms and strife, windand rocks, in the earth. You Cora, give Rover a bath in that tar soap I bought. Cora, iron my stocking.

Cora Unashamed – Wikipedia

Cora, come here…Cora, put…Cora…Cora…Cora! The Studevants thought they owned her, and they were perfectly right: There was something about the teeth in the trap of unaashamed circumstance that kept her in their power practically all her life—in the Studevant kitchen, cooking; in the Studevant parlor, sweeping; in the Studevant backyard, hanging clothes.

Cora was the oldest of a family of eight children—the Jenkins niggers. The only Negroes in Melton, thank God!


Where they came from originally—that is, the old folks—God knows. The kids were born there. The old folks are still there now: Pa drives a junk wagon. The old woman ails around the house, ails and quarrels.

Seven kids are coora. And before etory, somebody had to help Ma look after one baby behind another that kept on coming. Like Liked by 1 person.

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