On days like this, meaning a notable artist like Zora Neale Hurston's birthday, the custom is to suggest enjoying his or her work and to "support" others like them in their names. However, something tells me this is not what Zora would want. I think most writers take their birthdays off for things like cake, people, wine and gluttony over discipline. So today Zora wants us to party in her name. And for you to write your own novel, put elbow grease on your big dream and take her as example somebody somewhere will love your work someday.
Unlike Zora Neale Hurston, Eric Jerome Dickey worked for prosperity instead of obscurity; he will have the appropriate African-American grand homegoing traditions, including a headstone visible from afar. This respect and appreciation for the most tireless Black writers during their human lifetimes is what America owed Zora, her predecessors and her peers. Now, he joins her as an ancestor looking down.
Today, Zora Neale Hurston's spirit is 124 years old.
What ignited our spirits about the work was the awesome imagining of the unrecognizable language it presented in the midst of drama we could recognize.
Black women can certainly tell a story. And where others are more subdued or might strain unto artificial performance and nearly-rehearsed expression, such embellishments to a tale are attributes we can't help but deliver automatically. While the privileged classes were fortunate enough to bask in the glamour of the novel and epic poems they created using the … Continue reading Black Woman Gossip (Or, Ten Great Black Women’s Story Collections)
Toni Morrison’s brief description of Zora was: “One of the greatest writers of our time.” It is promising to believe she looks out from somewhere to watch the fruits of her lifelong and formerly underappreciated labor: generations who are the better for the Americana she captured and dignified.