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Essay On Zora Neale Hurston

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Zora Neale Hurston was an influential writer, anthropologist, and civil rights activist throughout much of the first half of the twentieth century. A charming, well-educated, and outspoken black woman living in America, Hurston defied cultual constraints to make significant achievements in a field in which she had few peers. She had a passion for writing, and employed her training in anthropology to give richness to her insight on black culture in America. Though she passed away over a half a century ago, her body of work was rich with cultural value and is now being enjoyed by a new generation of readers who recognize its lasting importance.

Zora Neale Hurston was most likely born on January 7th, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama. There are some differing accounts of her age, but this is the most accepted date of birth. The daughter of two former slaves, Zora was the fifth of eight children. Her father, John Hurston, was a pastor, carpenter, and tenant farmer. Her mother, Lucy Potts, was a school teacher. When Zora was very young, her family moved to Eatonville, Florida, one of the
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She had enrolled in Barnard College upon moving to New York, where she was the college's first black student (both to enroll, and to graduate). She finished her B.A. there before moving on to Columbia University to pursue graduate work in 1928. There she studied under Franz Boas, considered by many to be the "Father of American Anthropology". Boas, a German-born-Jew, had a profound effect on Hurston, as they both came from a marginalized section of their respective societies. He saw potential in the intelligent young Hurston, and encouraged her to study and preserve the black culture she knew in America. She began her fieldwork at home in Harlem, but soon left to pursue more serious work in her hometown of Eatonville in 1929. There she aimed to gather the folklore and stories of black culture in
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