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Zora Neale Hurston. 1891-1960. Family. Father-Baptist minister, tenant farmer, mayor and carpenter Mother-school teacher (died in 1904); her father remarried. Moved to Eatonville, Florida at age 3—the first incorporated black community in American. Education.

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Zora Neale Hurston


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family
Family
  • Father-Baptist minister, tenant farmer, mayor and carpenter
  • Mother-school teacher (died in 1904); her father remarried.
  • Moved to Eatonville, Florida at age 3—the first incorporated black community in American
education
Education

Attended Howard University and received her B. A. in anthropology from Barnard College (only black student in the the school) and Columbia University in 1928

literary career
Literary Career
  • Started writing during the Harlem Renaissance in NYC in 1925
  • Published Mules and Men in 1935, a literary anthropology documenting African American folklore.
  • Wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in
  • 1937 in seven weeks when she was in Haiti
the fade to obscurity
The Fade to Obscurity
  • For decades she was not acknowledged because people objected to the black dialect she used in her texts.
  • Black writers also objected to the fact that she did little to promote the political and economic issues of African Americans as a whole.
  • A false accusation against her caused serious harm to her personal life (She was accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy, but she was in Honduras at the time, so the case was dismissed).
continued fade
Continued Fade…
  • Hurston spent the last decade of her life as a freelance writer, a library worker, a substitute teacher, and a maid.
  • She died in a welfare home where she suffered a stoke and died of heart disease.
  • She was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida
a resurgence
A Resurgence…
  • Author Alice Walker rediscovered her work in the late 60’s, traveled to Florida in 1973 and placed a marker on her grave that read “A Genius of the South”
  • Influenced authors such as Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith, Maya Angelou
slide8

“Man 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.”

                  • Zora Neale Hurston
characters in tewwg
Characters in TEWWG
  • Janie-protagonist of the novel
  • Logan Killicks-Janie’s first husband (arranged marriage)
  • Jody Starks-Janie’s second husband; treats Janie as an object, moves her to Eatonville
  • Tea Cake-Janie’s third husband; first real love; 12 years younger than Janie
  • Pheoby Watson-Janie’s best friend in Eatonville
  • Nanny Crawford-Janie’s grandmother
dialect grammar rules
Dialect/Grammar Rules
  • d=th; example: dat’s=that’s, de=the
  • Drop g’s and d’s at ends of words; example: comin’=coming
  • Some words are run together or made into a contraction; example: more’n=more than, ah’m=I am
  • A=long i sound; example: lak=like
  • Beginning letters can be dropped; example: ‘im=him
  • Often phonetic spellings; example: wuz=was, tuh=to