"I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusion."—Zora Neal Hurston, born on this day in 1891 and today’s Google Doodle!
She grew up in Eatonville, Florida, the first incorporated African-American community in the United States, with a population of about 125. Hurston loved it there, and would set many of her stories in Eatonville, depicting it as a sort of Utopia; she also described it in her 1928 essay, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me.” When she was 13, her mother died, and her father remarried immediately, so she was sent to a boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida. She was expelled when her father stopped paying her tuition, and she went to live with a series of family members.
She went to Howard University, and cofounded the school’s newspaper, The Hilltop. She was offered a scholarship to Barnard College, where she studied anthropology, and she was the college’s only black student. She published many short stories in the 1920s and early ’30s, and her first book, Mules and Men (1935), was an anthropological study of African-American folklore. She’s best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).
A founding member of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston died in poverty in 1960 and was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1973, novelist Alice Walker and literary scholar Charlotte Hunt found an unmarked grave in the cemetery where Hurston was buried, and marked it as hers. Alice Walker wrote about the event in her article “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston” (1975), and the article sparked a renewed interest in Hurston’s writing.
(via Writer’s Almanac)
Always reblog Zora.
WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?
(This isn’t overdone until I say it’s overdone…which isn’t now)
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” - Jane Austen