“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
“I love myself when I laugh.”
Zora Neale Hurston was an incredibly gifted novelist whose most famous work, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a tour de force of Black feminist thought that continues to captivate readers today. She was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, as well as a dedicated anthropologist and folklorist who recorded culture and folk tales from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the American South. Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God while in Haiti, and incorporated into it her anthropological knowledge of voodoo practices. Sadly, Hurston struggled personally, financially, and career-wise despite her earlier successes and died in poverty, buried in an unmarked grave. Black feminist Alice Walker resuscitated interest in, appreciation for, and publication of Hurston’s work when she published an article about Hurston in Ms. Magazine in 1975. Since then, Hurston’s work is slowly but surely getting its due in the canon of American literature and she is being recognized, posthumously, for the creative genius she was.