Zora Neale Hurston
(1891-1960)

 

zora1.jpeg (4435 bytes)    Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist and anthropologist. She was raised in Eatonville, Florida, where her parents moved shortly after her birth. Her mother died when she was a young girl, and Zora never quite took to her step mother, leaving home at a relatively young age. "After sallying forth from Eatonville she made her way through Barnard and Columbia, where she studied under the eminent anthropologist Franz Boas. But then, instead of clinging to the library stacks to write learned papers for academia to ponder, she went back home to Eatonville, and to the Florida Everglades, and the Georgia Sea Islands, and to New Orleans and Haiti to soak up the speech, songs, music and tales of Black folk, and put it all down on paper and phonographic discs" (Kennedy 1991).

Nearly forty years since her death, Zora’s works are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, largely due to the efforts of Alice Walker, who discovered Zora’s works during the 1970’s. She also sought out Zora’s unmarked grave and placed a headstone upon it, calling Zora "the Genius of the South". For the past decade, her home town of Eatonville has celebrated an annual festival in Zora’s honor. The library in Fort Pierce, FL has been named after her, and Morgan State University is home to the Zora Neale Hurston Society. "Called ‘free and courageous and foolish,’ Magical Zora, our truth-telling fore-mother has taught an entire generation to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Black culture" (Ruth Sheffey 1991, founder of the Zora Neale Hurston Society).

"Research is formalized curiousity.  It is poking and prying with a purpose.  It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein."

(from Dust Tracks on a Road 1942)

Selected works by Zora

1934    Jonah's Gourd Vine. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Companyzorabook2.gif (13314 bytes)

1937    Their Eyes Were Watching God. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company

1938    Tell My Horse. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company

1942    Dust Tracks on a Road. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company

 

Selected works about Zora

Hemenway, Robert E.
1977 Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Plant, Deborah G.
1995 Every Tub Must Sit on its Own Bottom: The Philosophy and Politics of Zora Neale              Hurston. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Walker, Alice
1979 I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...& Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and              Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader. Old Westbury, NewYork: The Feminist Press.

 

"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’

We might not land on the sun, but atleast we would get off the ground."

(from Dust Tracks on a Road 1942).

Links of Interestcr-zoradrum.gif (34157 bytes)

*Voices from the Gaps

*Archives of Folk Culture, Library of Congress

*Teacher Resource and Research Guide

*Bibliography of Resources

*Library of Congress Citations

Sources

Grant, Alice Morgan
1991     All About Zora: Views and Reviews by Colleagues and Scholars. Winter Park, Florida: FOUR-G Publishers, Inc.

Hurston, Zora Neale
1942    Dust Tracks on the Road. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company

Kennedy, Stetson
1991    A Star Fell on Florida. In All About Zora: Views and Reviews by Colleagues and Scholars.  Alice Morgan Grant, ed.  Pp. 1-2 Winter Park, Florida: FOUR-G  Publishers, Inc.

Sheffey, Ruthe T.
1991    Foreword In All About Zora: Views and Reviews by Colleagues and Scholars.  Alice Morgan Grant, ed. Pp. vii-viii.Winter Park, Florida: FOUR-G Publishers, Inc.

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