books | Zora Neale HurstonZora Neale Hurston January 7,   — January 28, was an influential author of African-American literature , anthropologist , and filmmaker , who portrayed racial struggles in the earlyth-century American South , and published research on Haitian Vodou. She also wrote more than 50 short stories, plays, and essays. Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama , and moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida , in She later used Eatonville as the setting for many of her stories. It is now the site of the Zora! Festival, held each year in her honor.
Zora Neale Hurston Project
Zora Neale Hurston
In , Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture. Click here to listen to an audio excerpt. When first published in , this novel about a proud, independent black woman was generally dismissed by male reviewers. Out of print for almost thirty years, but since its reissue in paperback edition by the University of Illionois Press in , Their Eyes Were Watching God has become the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. It is published here for the first time.
Zora Neale Hurston Find a selection of Zora Neale Hurston books. She attended Howard University from to , and while there met Alain Locke, one of her mentors, and joined his literary society, Stylus. From to she studied anthropology with Franz Boas, a renowned cultural anthropologist. She did graduate work at Columbia University and went on to do field work for Boas in Harlem, and later traveled through the South collecting African-American folk tales and traditions. Unfortunately, her work was often overlooked by the white literary establishment, and bitterly attacked by leading African American writers such as Richard Wright, who objected to her depictions of rural life and folk lore and who wanted her to write novels of protest. Zora Neale Hurston was known for her strong spirit and her sense of humor.
This quotation from her essay "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" portrays Hurston's joyfully contrary view of herself in a world where being black was often perceived as a "problem" and portrayed that way even by black writers. Hurston considered her own blackness a gift and an opportunity. As an anthropologist and writer, she savored the richness of black culture and made a career out of writing about that culture in all its color and fullness. In the process, she became a vibrant figure in the Harlem Renaissance and is now considered one of the defining authors of the African American literary tradition. Hurston claimed to have been born in Eatonville, Florida, in either or , but recent scholarship indicates that she was probably born in Notasulga, Alabama, in She did, however, grow up in Eatonville, the first incorporated black town in the United States.