Thursday, January 17, 2013

Seeking Zora

Ok, nerd time here.  You know just because I retired from teaching English and history doesn't mean I can just drop it, don't you?  When I realized I was in south Florida recently, I just had to check and see if I was close to the hometown of Zora Neale Hurston.  And well, it was a little over an hours drive, but I found her.  Why?  you ask.  Well, because of all the books I have taught over the years, Ms. Hurston's book Their Eyes Were Watching God has one of the best/truest lines ever written. 
The bricked lane that leads to graveside
Close up of the entrance gates at her graveside
And her life was so up and down.  She was a well known writer during the Harlem Renaissance of the 20s and 30s.  She traveled to the Carribean to do research much like Margaret Mead, but she received little recognition at the time for her work.  In fact, by the 1950s she was broke, divorced, and working as  a housemaid.  When she died friends had to take up a collection for her funeral and for years her grave was unmarked just as her books fell into the unread category.  That is until a grad student named Alice Walker rediscovered her work and as Ms. Walker's work gained her fame she used her money and influence to give Ms. Hurston a proper gravesite and helped to bring her work back to prominence.  Today, if you visit Fort Pierce, FL you can follow the Zora Neale Hurston trail that ends at her gravesite and gives you glimpses into her life along the way.  So if you haven't read her work yet, you really are missing out on some good literature.

“Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.”   Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God

No comments:

Post a Comment