Born on January 7, 1891 in Alabama (but later adopting Eatonville, Florida as her hometown), Zora Neale Hurston established herself during the Harlem Renaissance as an African American folklorist. Her most popular work is “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which was eventually turned into a tv movie starring Halle Berry. Hurston’s skill with storytelling and use of dialect are unsurpassed. Her stories are passionate and layered with just a touch of mysticism.
Unfortunatley she died forgotten and destitute and was buried in an unmarked grave in Florida in 1960. Years, later “Color Purple” author Alice Walker went in search of her grave and gave her a proper headstone. Walker wrote about the experience in a piece called “In Search of Zora Neal Hurston.”
I definitely count Ms. Hurston as an inspiration and I am very grateful that she was able to blaze a path for women in literature even though she never fully received the fruits of her labor. Oh and her hat game was fierce.
Happy birthday Ms. Hurston!