Zora Neale Hurston

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Hurston, Zora Neale,

1891?–60, African-American writer, b. Notasulga, Ala. She grew up in the pleasant all-black town of Eatonville, Fla. and, moving north, graduated from Barnard College, where she studied with Franz BoasBoas, Franz
, 1858–1942, German-American anthropologist, b. Minden, Germany; Ph.D. Univ. of Kiel, 1881. He joined an expedition to Baffin Island in 1883 and initiated his fieldwork with observations of the Central Eskimos.
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. Her placid childhood and privileged academic background are often cited as major reasons for her work's general lack of stress on racism, a characteristic so unlike such contemporaries as Richard WrightWright, Richard,
1908–60, American author. An African American born on a Mississippi plantation, Wright struggled through a difficult childhood and worked to educate himself.
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. An anthropologist and folklorist, Hurston collected African-American folktales in the rural South and sympathetically interpreted them in the collections Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938). A third volume of tales, Every Tongue Got to Confess, was discovered in manuscript and published in 2001. Hurston, a significant figure in the Harlem RenaissanceHarlem Renaissance,
term used to describe a flowering of African-American literature and art in the 1920s, mainly in the Harlem district of New York City. During the mass migration of African Americans from the rural agricultural South to the urban industrial North
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, was also the author of four novels including Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) and the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Her plays include the comedy Mule Bone (1931), written in collaboration with her friend Langston HughesHughes, Langston
(James Langston Hughes), 1902–67, American poet and central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, b. Joplin, Mo., grad. Lincoln Univ., 1929. He worked at a variety of jobs and lived in several countries, including Mexico and France, before Vachel Lindsay
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.

Bibliography

See her autobiography (1942); C. Kaplan, ed., Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (2002); biographies by R. E. Hemenway (1977) V. Boyd (2002), and V. L. Moylan (2011); studies by H. Bloom, ed. (1986), S. Glassman and K. L. Seidel (1991), J. Carter-Sigglow (1994), J. Lowe (1994), D. G. Plant (1995), L. M. Hill (1996), G. L. Cronin (1998), A. I. Karanja (1999), S. E. Meisenhelder (1999), and D. Miles (2002).

Hurston, Zora Neale

(1903–60) writer, anthropologist, folklorist; born in Eatonville, Fla. She studied at Howard University (1923–24), Barnard College (B.A. 1928), and did graduate work at Columbia University. She spent much of her life collecting folklore of the South (1927–31; 1938–39) and of other places such as Haiti (1937–38), Bermuda (1937–38), and Honduras (1946–48); she published her findings in such works as Mules and Men (1935). She lived in New York City and held a variety of jobs, such as teacher, librarian, and assistant to Fannie Hurst. She was associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and would later influence such writers as Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison. She is best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), a novel celebrating the lives of African-Americans. In 1950 she moved to Florida and became increasingly conservative and alienated from her fellow African-Americans, taking a stand even against school integration. She died in poverty and was all but forgotten, but by the 1970s her works were being rediscovered and recognized for their insights.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lippincott, with transforming a collection of folklore, Mules and Men, from a "scientific manuscript into a narrative [for] average, nonacademic readers," Hurston rose to the challenge brilliantly.
The experiment in Negro democracy nurtured a relationship between the town and its favorite daughter, Hurston.
Hurston was just as devoted to anthropological studies as she was to fiction and drama, and though she never finished her Ph.
A celebrated and prolific writer, Zora Neale Hurston is considered a pre-eminent author of 20th-century African-American literature and one of the most important figures to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance.
What Bagge seems to love most about Hurston, and gets across ably, is the fierce and ever-blossoming independence that led her, among other things, to celebrate the inherent values of black culture, from American southern life to Haitian voodoo, over white liberal uplifters' attempts to change them.
As a cultural anthropologist, Hurston must have known the residual cultural influences of African culture within Southern black culture, including the symbolic presence of hair as a statement of identity.
Eager to begin her writing assignment, Hurston traveled to Live Oak, only to find that presiding judge Hal W.
Hurston is most famous for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
While conducting research for Mules and Men from December 1927 until February 1930 Zora Neale Hurston reported on her progress, goals, and methodologies via letters written to three very distinct audiences: "Papa" Franz Boas, her mentor at Columbia, who was ardently seeking to establish anthropology as a science; "Godmother" Charlotte Osgood Mason, the wealthy patron of the primitive, the source of Hurston's financial support and the legal owner of all the material Hurston collected; and her "pal," Langston Hughes, who introduced Hurston to Mason and with whom Hurston corresponded the most frequently and familiarly.
3) Two twentieth-century African-American novelists who understood this were Zora Neale Hurston and Ishmael Reed, and in their fictions both questioned the usefulness of the Exodus story for black culture in the twentieth century.
The biography of Zora Neal Hurston begins near the end of her life and then takes the reader back in time, to where her life began in rural Alabama.
Zora Neale Hurston, from her 1942 autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road