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Zora Neale Hurston And Her Impact On The Harlem Renaissance

1364 words - 5 pages

Zora Neale Hurston and her impact on the Harlem Renaissance

The Influence of Zora Neale Hurst on and by The Harlem Renaissance

" Nothing ever made is the same thing to more than one person.

That is natural . There is no single face in nature because every eye that looks upon, it sees it from it's own angle. So every man's spice box seasons his own food."

The Harlem Renaissance, a flowering of literature (and to a lesser extent, other arts) in New York City during the 1920's and 1930's, has long been considered to be the high point in African American writing. It probably had it's foundation in the works of W.E.B. DuBois, influential editor of The Crisis from 1910 to 1934. DuBois believed that an educated Black elite should lead Blacks to liberation. He also believed that Blacks could not achieve social equality by emulating white ideals, and that equality could only be achieved by teaching Black racial pride with an emphasis on an African cultural heritage (Huggins 3). The Harlem Renaissance was also set into motion by the Great Migration , the movement of Southern Blacks to the North (Bontemps 2).

Although the Renaissance was not a school , not did the writers associated with it share a common purpose, they still shared a common bond : they dealt with life from a Black perspective. Among the major writers who are usually viewed as part of the Harlem Renaissance are Countee Cullen , Rudolph Fisher , James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston (Kellner 14).

Zora Neale Hurston is probably the most popular female author of the era, and her work is the most widely known, including her most popular book - Their eyes were watching God (1937). Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891 in Nostaluga, Alabama., and grew up in Eatonville, Florida. The daughter of John Hurston, a preacher and a carpenter, and Lucy Potts Hurston, a seamstress Hurston attended Howard University while working as a manicurist, and later graduating from Barnard College in 1928. In 1925 she went to New York City drawn by the circle of creative black artists, and she began writing fiction. Annie Nathan Myer the founder of Barnard College gave a scholarship to Hurston, and she ...

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