Zora Neale Hurston a Novelist of African-American Literature

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Zora Neale Hurston was an inspiring folklorist and novelist of African-American Literature that is best known for her novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. In her novels she portrays the many racial struggles that occured in the early 20th Century. Zora Neale Hurston was inspiring when it came to helping to protect the rights of African Americans. She used her novels in a motivating way. She used her novels to encourage people to stand up for their rights and take a stand against all of the racial struggles that they have gone through and are still going through.

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She was a motivating woman that will keep inspiring us until the end of time.

Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, AL. Zora was the fifth of eight children. Zora has 6 brothers and 1 sister. Her father, John Hurston was a carpenter, Baptist preacher, tenant farmer, and eventually became mayor of Eatonville. Her mother, Lucy Potts Hurston was a former schoolteacher. When she was very young her whole family moved to Eatonville, Florida . Since Hurston has no recollection of being in Alabama she considers Eatonville her home. Hurston had an amazing childhood from what she could remember until it came to an abrupt end when her mother died in 1904. Zora was only 13 years old when this happened. After her mother’s death her father remarried to a woman named Mattie Moge (a young woman only six years older than Zora and three years younger than her oldest sibling). Hurston and her stepmother fought bitterly whether it was verbally or physically. By 1917 Hurston had enough with her new stepmother and moved to Baltimore to continue her education and start a new life.

Education was very important to Zora. Zora went to an elementary school in her village. When she left to Baltimore she continued her education by going to Morgan Academy where she completed her high school requirements. When she got to Baltimore and applied for Morgan Academy she lied about her age, she told the school that she was 16 rather than her actual age of 26 years old.Then Hurston attended Howard Prep School and Howard University and earned an associate’s degree. The founder of Barnard College personally gave Hurston a scholarship to her school. There she completed her undergraduate education where she studied anthropology and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. She began to study for a PhD in anthropology at Columbia University. In her lifetime Hurston has had many different jobs. She was an author, novelist, journalist, folklorist, ethnographer, anthropologist, waitress, manicurist, a librarian at the Pan American World Airways, maid to the lead singer of Gilbert and Sullivan, drama instructor at North Carolina College, and she was a secretary for the writer Fannie Hurst. She always found a way to support herself through the hard times of the 1800s.

There are many interesting facts about Zora Neale Hurston. When Zora was in college she was one of the founding members of Zeta Phi Beta, an international historically black sorority. When Hurston worked as a librarian at the Pan American World Airways she was fired for being too smart for the job. Zora was the daughter of two former slaves. At first Zora was not very known for her writings. She had not become popular until the 1970s and 80s. Unfortunately Zora did not receive many awards during her lifetime. However she did receive a few. In 1935 she earned a Rosenwald Foundation Fellowship. The year after she got a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1939 she got her honorary doctorate at Morgan State College. In the year 1943 she got an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and she got a distinguished alumni award from Howard University. The last award she received was in 1956. This award was an Education and Human Relations Award at Bethune-Bookman College. Although she was not popular in her time she is still inspiring us all.

Zora Neale Hurston was an amazing person however she unfortunately died on January 28, 1960 in Fort Pierce, FL. She sadly died at the age of 69. In the last few months of her life she was in a period of financial and medical difficulties. Hurston was forced to enter into St. Lucie County Welfare Home, where she suffered a stroke. She later died of hypertensive heart disease and was buried at an unmarked grave in the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida. In her lifetime she said many inspiring things. However the quote that she said that was most inspiring to me was “No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.” This was inspiring to me because it shows that even when you think you’ve gone far enough in life you can always go further, you can always work harder, the limits are endless to how far you can go. The horizon represents your aspirations and dreams but you can always dream bigger, your dreams are endless they’re infinite. No one can ever come between you and your aspirations.

Zora Neale Hurston was very important in her time. Hurston was a leader in the Harlem Renaissance. She helped to protect the rights of African Americans. During the Harlem Renaissance she was known for her wit, boldness, and folk writing style. However Hurston was most well known for her popular novels. Zora Neale Hurston is proof that when you fight for your rights and freedom there are other ways rather than making a speech instead you can right a book like Hurston did. Hurston was able to express her feelings on racial issues through her books. Hurston was an inspiration as a novelist and she was an inspiration to the civil rights movement and will always be remembered as one.

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Zora Neale Hurston A Novelist of African-American Literature. (2021, Mar 01). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/zora-neale-hurston-a-novelist-of-african-american-literature/