1/24/2014 0 Comments
"I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions."
-- Letter from Zora Neale Hurston to Countee Cullen
I was shocked and amazed and as pleased as punch when, earlier this month, on the late Zora Neale Hurston's birthday and for a few days afterwards, she trended on Twitter.
Even though Hurston is without doubt one of the most important African American authors of the 20th century, with four novels and over 50 published short stories, essays, and plays to her name, the notion that a woman born in 1891 and dead in 1960 would be recognized to that degree on a piece of social media completely fueled by what's new and what's now (and the likes of out-of-control youth) is kind of crazy . With the truly odd and questionable things that the general populace deems "popular" these days, to say that this was unexpected is an understatement.
Thank God for small miracles.
For those of you out there who are Hurston enthusiasts, the annual ZORA! Festival in Eatonville, Florida, turns 25 this year, kicks off tomorrow, and goes through February 2. The schedule is jam-packed, and Lynn Whitfield, Avery Brooks, and Frankie Beverly and Maze will be joining in the festivities.
Hurston passed away from stroke and heart complications just six months before I was born. So, I'm thankful that events like the ZORA! Festivals keep her legacy and the Harlem Renaissance alive for us to enjoy today.
I've ordered the 75th anniversary edition of the classic Their Eyes Were Watching God in paperback. It's past time that I read it.