On this day in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston was born……..her life and work unacknowledged for its value until after her impoverished death. She lived a life in sorrow’s kitchen and on a mountaintop of rainbows……Socializing with America’s cream of the writing crop would accompany working on and off as a maid and finding shelter in a welfare hotel. So sad that Zora, who had hosted the most talented writers of her time at social gatherings in her home, would die in such a fashion.
Today Zora is valued as one of America’s most influential black writers. I italicize black because good writing is good writing…..ironically, the black readership vocalized loud disdain for Zora’s work during her lifetime.
She immersed herself in learning the folklore of her own and other cultures, studying everything from anthropology to voodoo; what a shame such an intelligent and prolific writer did not bask in the light of recognition she deserved.
She had struggles in life…..criminal accusations and criticisms for her political beliefs.
She was finally laid to rest in a unmarked grave.
But an article from Alice Walker in Ms. Magazine in 1975, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston” revived her work…..she has been the legacy of many who followed…
It’s a good thing this country found her.
“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.”
Zora Neale Hurston