Zora Neale Hurston was a luminary of the Harlem Renaissance but was relatively unknown and very poor when she died.
Hurston was born in January of 1891. As both a writer and anthropologist, she committed her life to studying and celebrating African American folklore and culture.
Hurston moved to New York after a Harlem-based magazine presented her with a literary award. From there she formed a network, earned a scholarship, and studied English and Anthropology at Barnard College.
She traveled throughout the American South to conduct interviews, record folklore, and collect objects of cultural significance. Her work, which included interviews with enslaved people and their descendants, provided the basis for her novels, including "Their Eyes Were Watching God" (1937).
Hurston was an important voice in the largely male-dominated literary world of the Harlem Renaissance. Her work inspired—and continues to inspire—future generations of artists, authors, and anthropologists.
Learn more through Women & the American Story: https://bit.ly/3o82nAU
📷 Carl Van Vechten, Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston (detail), April 3, 1938. Library of Congress