Biography of Zora Neale Hurston African American author, folklorist, anthropologist, and Harlem Renaissance figure, her works and contributions to the world of literature acknowledge her as one of the great writers of our American history. Zora Neale Hurston, born in Notasulga, Alabama on January 7, 1891 to former slaves John and Lucy Potts Hurston, was the fifth child and second girl out of eight children. Her birth records have never been found, so the singular year of her birth has long been a dispute (Bloom 7). In the family bible, according to Hurston’s biographers, her name is recorded as Zora Neal Lee Hurston; at some point an “e” was added to Neal and “Lee” was dropped (King 1).
After her works appeared in several major publications such as Opportunity, The New Negro, and Negro World between 1924 and 1925, Hurston moved to New York City. In New York, she met and partnered with prominent members of the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Fannie Hurst, and Carl Van Vechten. With the assistance of Annie Nathan Meyer, Hurston enrolled in Barnard College in 1926 where she studied under legendary anthropologist Franz Boas. Under Boas, Hurston developed the skills and the voice to share the works of the rural folk culture where she had been born and raised, and “with Boas’s assistance, she obtained a research fellowship from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and
Nellie McClung was a political activist. She was also a charmer with a gift for oratory and a delightful sense of humour. Her spirited leadership rallied others to the cause of women's suffrage in Manitoba in the early 20th century. As a young girl, Nellie questioned traditional "women's roles."
In 1773, there were slaves all over colonial America working in plantations, and cleaning their masters houses. It wasn’t common for a slave to be writing poetry with their owners consent. Phyllis Wheatley’s success as the first African American published poet was what inspired generations to tell her story. It was her intellectual mind and point of view that made her different from others, both black and white. Phyllis’s story broke the barrier for all African American writers, and proved that no matter the gender or race, all human beings are capable of having an intelligent state of mind.
Hurston concludes the story by simultaneously reaffirming difference and rejecting it. She points out how the same difference is apparent when a white person is "thrown against a colored background. " The final paragraph states Hurston's belief that everyone is more than their race. She rejects difference by pointing out that aside from her race, she is an American just like the white people she used to watch pass through her home
Hurston and Janie both endured oppression during their lives based upon their race and gender however, their strong wills propelled them threw unforeseen obstacle. Zora Neale Hurston was a phenomenal African American woman whom despite her rough childhood would become one of the most profound authors of the century. Throughout her lifetime she was the, “Recipient of two Guggenheims and the author of four novels, a dozen short stories, two musicals, two books on black mythology, dozens of essays, and a prizewinning autobiography” (Gates 4). Hurston had to overcome numerous obstacles because of her gender, economic status, and racial identity. Hurston was born in 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama but grew up in Eatonville, Florida.
Hurston’s anecdotes of how she became colored support Steele’s argument on identity contingencies. In the beginning of Steele’s book Whistling Vivaldi, he depicts an experience he had during his childhood, when he began to recognize the existence of discrimination, “I have a memory of the first time I realized I was black. I learned that we ‘black’ kids couldn’t swim at the pool in our area park, except on Wednesday afternoons… We could be regular people but only in the middle of the week?
In the early 1900s, Janie struggles to find her self worth. In the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, expands on the story of a girl who goes through many different relationships before finding herself. Janie faces emotional abuse, insecurities, and a variety of men. Her grandmother taught her many life lessons and engraved in her head that she needed to find a man to take care of her for the rest of her life. Janie grows through each relationship and soon comes to the conclusion that she is able to care for herself.
The New Negro Arts Movement is framed in many different ways. Firstly as a fixed movement, in terms of time and location, versus a more extended, trans locational and trans generational movement that spans borders and decades to exist as a flux and everlasting movement. Furthermore, and more prevalently, there was a major difference in perceptions within the New Negro Arts Movement in terms of the older and younger generations because of differing opinions on the necessity for race building and tone policing. The structure of the system by which the varying opinions on the purpose and definition of the New Negro Arts Movement were constructed is very complex, and the realities of the way in which artists responded to and functioned with each