Zora Neale Hurston: Jan. 7,1891- Jan. 28,1960

"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."

zora smilingAlong with celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January is also the month we celebrate the literary and anthropological contributions of Zora Neale Hurston. She spent much of her life studying the cultures of and collecting folklore from the American South, Caribbean, and Latin America, which she compiled in works such as Every Tongue Got to Confess, Mules and Men and Tell My Horse

Born to former enslaved Africans, Hurston grew up valuing the power of education and words, which brought her to Howard University, where she received an associate degree. She later moved to New York City, becoming a prominent voice of the Harlem Renaissance. She completed her studies at Barnard College majoring in anthropology, as she felt it was her duty to tell the stories of the misunderstood and voiceless.

Hurston contributed articles about race and gender to numerous magazines and wrote several fiction and non-fiction works; her most notable being Their Eyes Were Watching God, which was adapted into a television miniseries starring Halle Berry.

-Nijma Esad, Library Associate