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Zora Neale Hurston

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Throughout the history of our great nation, we have been blessed with many great writers those black and white. Some of these writers have left profoundly inspirational impressions on our lives, touching us in a way that will never be forgotten. During the “ “Roaring 20’s,” many new aspects of life were introduced to American society, forever changing our lives. Along with the “Roaring 20’s,” came the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement during which black art, literature, and music received much deserved credit. It originated in New York City's Harlem district and was also called the Black Renaissance, or New Negro Movement. It was quite common in African-American society for people to exchange tales and folklores that stemmed as far back as their ancestor’s days in Africa. One of the most accomplished writers of this time was a beautiful, young and extremely intelligent woman. This young woman took this common practice and used them in her novels and tales. It was this simple yet intriguing idea for writing stories that helped launch Zora into the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance. Regardless, of her trying and discouraging lifestyle as a child, Zora chose to press onward and upward throughout her life. Zora had more than her fair share of hardships from her early childhood up until her last days on this earth. Though tough times were all too frequent, Zora continuously worked tirelessly towards her destiny. In her lifetime she was acknowledged as a leading force for the Harlem Renaissance, forever revolutionizing America’s views of African-American’s as well as the great intelligence and creative capability of women. Through her short stories, poems, and novels Zora was able to reach many people nation wide and therefore further express her views and beliefs to those black and white.

On January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama Lucy Ann Potts Hurston gave birth to the sixth of her eight children. This child was given the name Zora or “light of dawn,” little did her parents know, she would certainly live up to her meaningful name. Lucy Ann Potts Hurston was an elementary school teacher until she later married John Hurston, a mulatto pastor of Zion Hope Baptist Church and the Macedonia Baptist church, farmer, carpenter and later Mayor of Eatonville of 1897 serving three terms. When she was th...

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... using blacks as a means of buying votes. In 1954 she criticized the desegregation ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Ks. In this article she stated that she believed that black children and white children should not attend the same schools.

Zora went on writing many publications that separated her from blacks; she was marked as a traitor. For this reason she spent her last days alone and in poverty working as a domestic until falling ill and dying of a stroke in 1960. However controversial, Zora will be remembered for her great contributions to the Harlem Renaissance and fine literary works. She has been a very influential and a true inspirational figure to many writers of today. One that comes to mind is a local playwright by the name of Mari Evans, who recently did a rendition of Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, titled “Eyes” Zora had a different outlook on life than most African Americans of her time but has remained the cornerstone of the Harlem Renaissance making black culture known and felt by all. That is why Zora will remain an outstanding and successful pillar in the literary world for many years to come.
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