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Zora Neale Hurston was an African American anthropologist and author who became famous for her short stories and essays about African American culture and racial struggles in the south as well as her research work in African American folklore. She played a part in the Harlem Renaissance.
See the fact file below for more information on the Zora Neale Hurston or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Zora Neale Hurston worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Early Life and Family
- Zora Neale Hurston was born January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama.
- She was born the sixth of eight children of John Huston, a Baptist preacher, and Lucy Ann Hurston, a teacher.
- All of her grandparents were born into slavery.
- Her family moved to Eatonville, Florida when she was three years old.
- Eatonville, Florida was one of the first all-black towns to be incorporated in the country.
- Her father was elected as mayor of Eatonville in 1897.
- Eatonville was the setting she used in some of her writings.
- Being an all-black town, Eatonville was where African Americans could live independent of white folks.
- In 1928, she wrote an essay entitled “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” which revolved around her experiences growing up in Eatonville.
- After her mother died in 1904 and her father remarried, she was sent to a boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida.
- When she couldn’t pay her tuition fees anymore, she was dismissed from school.
- When she was 16 years old, she joined a traveling theatrical company and was able to get to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance.
- In 1917, Hurston entered Morgan College, the high school of Morgan State University, a historically black university located in Baltimore, Maryland.
- To qualify for free education, Hurston put in 1901 as her birth year instead of 1891.
- She graduated from Morgan College in 1918.
- Following her high school graduation, she entered Howard University for college, where she co-founded the university’s student newspaper, The Hilltop, and was initiated to Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
- In 1925, she received a scholarship to study anthropology in Barnard College.
- She graduated from Barnard College in 1928.
- She pursued further studies in anthropology at Columbia University for two years.
- She conducted field studies in African American folklore.
- Folklorist Charlotte Mason sponsored her field trips.
- In 1930, Zora Hurston and Langston Hughes collaborated on a play entitled Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life in Three which was posthumously published in 1991.
- Hurston’s first novel, entitled Jonah’s Gourd Vine, was published in 1934 and received critical acclaim.
- In 1935, she published an autoethnographic collection of African American folklore entitled Mules and Men based on her trips to Eatonville, Florida, and New Orleans.
- In 1937, she published her novel entitled Their Eyes Were Watching God which is considered her best known work.
- Hurston wrote about her research and firsthand observations of voodoo practices in Haiti and Jamaica, and published it in 1938 with the title Tell My Horse.
- Moses, Man of the Mountain is Hurston’s 1939 novel that reintroduces the story in the Bible of Moses and the Israelites from an African American perspective.
- In 1942, two major things happened in her career: her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, was published, and she was listed in Who’s Who in America, Current Biography and Twentieth Century Authors.
- Seraph on the Suwanee (1948) was her last published novel and her only novel about white folk.
- Hurston taught in North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University), a historically black university, in Durham, North Carolina.
- Hurston also worked for the Library of Congress.
- Several collections of stories and folktales by Hurston were published posthumously such as Spunk: The Selected Stories (1985), The Complete Stories (1995), Every Tongue Got to Confess (2001), and Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (2018).
Stand in Politics
- Hurston was a Republican whose support leaned towards the foreign policy non-interventionism of the American conservatives and Booker T. Washington’s politics.
- Hurston did not subscribe to the philosophies kept by most of her colleagues in the Harlem Renaissance, like communism.
Death and Legacy
- Hurston died in January 28, 1960 after suffering a stroke.
- There was no epitaph on her grave until 1973, but now it reads “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South” after writer Alice Walker placed a marker on Hurston’s grave.
- Hurston received a lot of posthumous recognition. Among the honors she received are:
- The celebration of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in Eatonville, Florida annually.
- Zora Neale Hurston Museum of Fine Arts, also known as The Hurston, in Eatonville, Florida.
- In 1994, Hurston was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
- Established in 2008, the Zora Neale Hurston Award is given to an American Library Association member who has “demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature.”
- Hurston was inducted as a member of the inaugural class of the New York Writers Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame in 2015.
Zora Neale Hurston Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Zora Neale Hurston across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Zora Neale Hurston worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Zora Neale Hurston who was an African American anthropologist and author who became famous for her short stories and essays about African American culture and racial struggles in the south as well as her research work in African American folklore. She played a part in the Harlem Renaissance.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Zora Neale Hurston Facts
- Knowing Zora
- From Eatonville With Love
- Truth Or Lie
- Quotes In Daily Life
- Identify It!
- Afro-American Authors
- Books Of Hurston
- Favorite Folktale
- Influence On Literature
- My Magazine
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Link will appear as Zora Neale Hurston Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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