28 January: Tribute to Zora Neale Hurston on Death Anniversary
Zora Neale Hurston (7 January 1891 – 28 January 1960) was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South. The most popular of her four novels is Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. She also wrote more than 50 short stories, plays, and essays.
Life and Career
Hurston was born in Alabama on 7 January 1891, but she spent much of her life in Florida and New York. She was the fifth of eight children and grew up in a household with a love of storytelling. Hurston attended Howard University and Barnard College, where she studied anthropology under Franz Boas, a pioneer in the field.
Hurston is best known for her novels, including “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which is considered a masterpiece of African American literature. She also wrote short stories, plays, and essays, and conducted extensive fieldwork on African American folklore in the South. Hurston was a pioneer in the field of African American folklore and helped to document and preserve the oral traditions of the African American community.
Hurston’s work was largely forgotten after her death in 1960, but she was rediscovered in the 1970s and is now considered a major figure in African American literature and anthropology. Her writing is known for its strong characters, vibrant storytelling, and use of African American vernacular.
She suffered a stroke and died of hypertensive heart disease on 28 January 1960, and was buried at the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Award and Legacy
Hurston’s legacy as a writer and folklorist extends beyond her published work. She was a pioneering figure in the field of African American folklore and helped to document and preserve the oral traditions of the African American community. Her work helped to bring a greater awareness of African American culture and history to a wider audience, and she is remembered as a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance and in the history of African-American literature.
The Zora Neale Hurston House in Fort Pierce has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The city celebrates Hurston annually through various events such as Hattitudes, birthday parties, and the several-day event at the end of April known as Zora! Festival.
On 7 January 2014, Google Doodle celebrated Zora Neale Hurston’s 123rd Birthday.