Zora Neale Hurston (1891 - 1960)
A giant of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston not only produced important, intense literature, she proved that artistic excellence survives the grave when her hibernating legacy inspired Alice Walker to mark her pitiful cemetery site ("Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South") and revive her name for new generations. Though "leftists" tend to tout Hurston as their own, similarly to how evangelical Christians claim C.S. Lewis, she was quite critical of communism (a "brand of up-to-date slavery") and government paternalism - to the point of questioning Richard Wright for cheerleading "the solution of the party-state responsibility for everything and individual responsibility for nothing” and opposing Brown vs. the Board of Education. She applied this resistance to race as well: “It’s the old idea of, trite but true, of helping people to help themselves that will be the only salvation of the Negro in this country.” And she warned against racialist demagogy: "[T]he race man is still with us...His job today is to rush around seeking for something he can 'resent'."
"Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Zora Neale Hurston on War, Race, the State, and Liberty"
"Rites as Role Playing in Zorah Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse"
(great authors main page)
List of Works
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Dust Tracks on the Road
How It Feels to Be Colored Me
Jonah's Gourd Vine
Moses, Man if the Mountain
The Gilded Six-Bits
Mules and Men
Hoodoo in America
Seraph of the Suwanee
Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica
(not a complete list)
"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."
"What the world is crying and dying for at this movement is less race consciousness."
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