Jan. 7, 1891: Zora Neale Hurston is Born


Hurston in Eatonville, Florida, State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, date unknown.

Born this day in history, Zora Neale Hurston (Jan. 7, 1891–Jan. 28, 1960), American folklorist, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance.

Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Here is a link to learn about a film (Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun) and two chapter books for upper elementary and middle school (Zora and Me and Scraps of Time) about Hurston.

The first chapter of the NCTE teachers guide on Hurston is free online and provides excellent background. Download PDF of chapter.

We also recommend the Florida Memory Project page on her work with Stetson Kennedy, the Works Project Administration (WPA), and documenting work in turpentine camps.

Our thanks to author Alice Walker for bringing Hurtson’s work to contemporary public attention.

Zora Neale Hurston with three children playing a singing game in Eatonville, Florida. From the Lomax collection at the Library of Congress. Click image to learn more.


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