Born: January 7, 1891 (Notasulga, Alabama)
Died: January 28, 1960 (Fort Pierce, Florida)
Famous For/Known For:
A little about Zora Neale Hurston:
Hurston was born to John and Lucy Ann Hurston who were both former slaves. Her father was a pastor.
In 1904, Hurston’s mother died. Her father eventually remarried which lead to Hurston, for the next few years, living with several different family members.
Getting an education was very important to Hurston. In order to reach her goal of graduating college along with supporting herself she worked multiple jobs.
In 1920, Hurston earned an associate’s degree from Howard University. Later she received a scholarship to Barnand College where she studied the subject of anthropology.
In 1934, she published her first novel, Jonah’s Ground Vine. A year later, after collecting African-American folk tales she published the book, Mules and Men. Three years later Hurston wrote the classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God.
In 1942, her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, was published. Critics found this book to be well written.
Although Hurston could prove her innocence, in 1948, she was charged with molesting a 10 year old boy. This false accusation devastated her.
For years before Hurston’s health declined she had difficulty with publishing her work. She died poor and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida.
In 1975, over a decade later, writer Alice Walker wrote an essay for Ms. Magazine, In Search of Zora Neale Hurston. This sparked an interest in the life and writings of Hurston which resulted in new editions of her writings being published.
Hurston died of hypertensive heart disease at the age of 69.
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