Zora Neale Hurston And Maya Angelou: Influential Writers Of The 20th Century

758 words - 4 pages

Zora Neale Hurston and Maya Angelou are arguably the most influential writers of the mid 20th century . Their work has inspired young African Americans to have more confidence in their own abilities. Their work has also been studied and taught countless times in many schools across the U.S. But the main reason why their work is considered classics in American literature; is because their work stands as testament to the treatment, and struggles of African Americans in the mid 20th century America.
Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga Alabama on, January 7, 1891. When she was a little girl her family moved to the now iconic town of Eatonville Florida. She was fifth child of eight of John Hurston and Lucy Ann Hurston. Eatonville was one of the first all-black towns to be established in the United States. Zora’s interest in literature was piqued when a couple of northern teachers, came to Eatonville and gave her books of folklore and fantasy. After her mother died, her father and new stepmother sent her to a boarding school. In 1918 Hurston began her undergraduate studies at Howard University. While there, she took courses in Spanish, English, Greek and public speaking and earned an associate's degree in 1920. Zora left Howard in 1924 and in 1925 was offered a scholarship by Barnard College, where she was the college's only African American student. In 1927, Zora married Herbert Sheen, a jazz musician and former classmate at Howard, but sadly the marriage ended in 1931. Zora received her B.A. in anthropology in 1928, when she was 37.

Huston’s literary achievements and her impact on American literature forever is still seen today. When Hurston arrived to New York City the Harlem Renaissance was well under way; and soon she would find herself in the center of it all. One of Hurston’s well known short stories, “How it Feels to Be Colored Me,” was first published in 1928. Her most popular novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was published in 1937. Hurston's work has always been put up for controversy for decades for a number of cultural and political reasons. Hurston’s recognition took off unfortunately after she died...

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