Today marks novelist, poet, essayist, anthropologist, and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston’s 125th birthday. She was born January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama, and died January 28, 1960. She is most famous for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, which has been adopted for TV and the stage many times over. She spent her life collecting the rich oral history of Black people in this country.
Zora Neale Hurston
One of the all-time influential authors, Zora Neale Hurston, has close ties to the Harlem Renaissance. Through her writings, Robert Hemenway wrote in the book “The Harlem Renaissance Remembered,” that Hurston was a strong voice that held together her race. She “helped to remind the Renaissance — especially its more bourgeois members — of the richness in the racial heritage; she also added new dimensions to the interest in exotic primitivism that was one of the most ambiguous products of the age.”