Zora Neale Hurston. A Rhetorical Pictorial History of a Great American Writer and Ethnographer. “Bizarre Beginnings”. “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” Born Jan. 7, 1891… probably
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A Rhetorical Pictorial History of a Great American Writer and Ethnographer
“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
First known picture of Zora, on left
Taken while at Bernard College
“The force from somewhere in Space which commands you
to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up
the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded.
There is no agony like bearing an untold story.” --ZHN
(and allegedly become a voodoo doctor…)
Hurston researching in the Everglades
“De way you talkin’ you’d think de folks in dis town didn’t do nothin’ in de bed cept praise de Lawd” (Hurston 3).
vernacular= ordinary or spoken language; the everyday language of a group or class of people in a country or region, as opposed to the official, formal, or literary language used; nonstandard language; a language or characteristic of a period or a place; often considered slang
The Latin word vernaculus means ‘native’
Thinking as a folklorist, ethnographer, and documenter of oral and musical traditions, Hurston believed to best represent her southern characters, she should write the way they actually speak.
Turn to page 2
We need two volunteers to read this short passage, come on up!
“Harlem is vicious. Modernism. BangClash. Vicious the way it’s made, can you stand such beauty. So violent and transforming.” –Amiri Baraka
honor occur, the biggest ones in Fort
Pierce, Florida & Flagstaff, Arizona
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Time AND place in which the story takes place
In this Story?
Authors usually write about the worlds they know and understand, that which surrounds them is their context. When you think of context, think of:
Janie clearly states her epiphany, exclaiming, “Aw, aw! Ah’m colored!” (9), when she realizes she is black and thus different from the white kids she’s grown up with.