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
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
Throughout the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston uses odd names. Each name serves its purpose. Hurston uses name such as: Logan Killicks, Jody (Joe) Starks, and Tea Cake. In Chapter 4, Janie and Logan had had a verbal fight.
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?
Richard Wright and Zora Neal Hurston learn many different things in their autobiographical pieces. Richard Wright and Zora Neal Hurston were both African American and they both grew up in the south. Richard Wright was born on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, and then he moved to Memphis. Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, Florida which was the first incorporated African-American community in the United States.
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.
Zora Neale Hurston sets her novel in Florida during the early 1900s. The novel begins in West Florida where Janie lives with her grandmother and a white family. As the novel progresses, Janie makes her way to other parts of Florida. She moves to the all-black town of Eatonville with Jody Starks and becomes a part of his sophisticated life. After Jody's death, Janie then joins a simpler community in the Everglades with Tea Cake.
As much as a reader might agree with Sherley Anne Williams’ ideas of Hurston’s writing, there are some concepts a reader may question. Although the author, Sherley Anne Williams, was correct in suggesting Hurston including the shield of protection for Janie from her grandmother, Nanny, was not creating a picture of life looking like reality; however, her idea that Janie had an insufficient amount of wisdom about herself as a whole is inaccurate because Janie does have self-awareness as she chose who she wanted to be, even if the ideas were pushed away by others. Sherley Anne Williams includes a quick understanding of how Janie sees herself. Discussing how Janie saw her self for the first time in a picture, notiving she was black. Because Janie