Zora Neale Hurston Essay

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	Zora Neale Hurston was an astounding Afro-American author who was recognized not for being the first Afro-American writer, but rather for her ability to bring forth her cultural language and imagery. If not for Zora's pioneering effort as a female black writer, the world of modern literature would have never seen the cultural insights of the African American culture in such a candid way.

	Zora's date of birth is said to be in January of 1891, however her actual date of birth is debated today due to the fact that records of African Americans during the 19th century were not accurately kept (Lyons 2). Zora's home town, which was not disputed, was Eatonville, Florida, which was founded by African Americans and was the first all-black
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Zora step in collecting folklore took some tremendous courage for "Southern black folklore had never been collected by one of the folk"(Lyons 60). This folklore later became the source of her novels and short stories.

Zora's true career began in the famed Harlem Renaissance of the 1930's. This was a period in which African American culture was formally introduced into modern literature (Lyons 35-7). In hopes of continuing her expeditions as a folklorist Zora needed to seek financial assistance. Thus, she encountered Mrs. Rufus Osgood Mason, a wealthy "white patronage" (Lyons 51). Mrs. Osgood often gave struggling artists over fifty thousand dollars to continue their expeditions. Through a five-year time period Mrs. Osgood did provide Zora fifteen thousand dollars to go on her travels. During this time, from 1926-1931, she met Langston Hughes, another aspiring African American writer, with whom she published one of the first African American magazines, named Fire. Unfortunately, for both Zora and Langston Mrs. Osgood's "gifts" (Lyons 51) resulted in high prices which in affect left great conflicts between Langston and Zora, and so broke up what could have been an awesome African American duo (Lyons 51-7). Despite such a set back Zora's career continued with many popular novels and short stories.

In "January of 1934, Zora went to Bethune-Cookman College to

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