Hurston, Zora Neale (c. 1891–1960)
Hurston, Zora Neale (c. 1891–1960)
Anthropologist, novelist, folklorist and the most prolific as well as underrated African-American woman writer during the years 1920 to 1950. Pronunciation: HERS-ton. Born Zora Neale Hurston on January 7, 1891 (according to one brother and a 1900 census taker) or 1901 (according to her literary biographer and various other sources), in Eatonville, Florida; died at the St. Lucie County Welfare Home on January 28, 1960; interred at the Gardens of Heavenly Rest in Ft. Pierce, Florida; sixth of eight children of Lucy Ann (Potts) Hurston and John Hurston, who migrated to Florida from Alabama after their marriage; completed high school at Morgan Academy in Washington, D.C., then attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. (1923–24) before acquiring a B.A. from Barnard, 1928; married Herbert Sheen, on May 19, 1927 (divorced, July 7, 1931); married Albert Price III, on June 27 1939 (divorced, November 9, 1943); children: none.
Spent formative years in Eatonville, Florida, the first incorporated all-black town where her father, a carpenter, served as mayor and minister and her mother saw to the needs of eight children; forced to move to Jacksonville to live with a sibling and attend school after mother's death (1904) and father's remarriage; after taking a job as a maid with a traveling theatrical group, ended up in Washington, D.C., where she worked alternately as a waitress and manicurist; saw first story published in the school literary magazine (1924), which precipitated a scholarship to Barnard College (1926); developed an interest in folklore and writing while studying first in Washington and then New York; early literary attempts brought attention from New York art world where she fast became a key member of the famed Harlem Renaissance; fellowships and other support helped her pursue interest in African-American folklore; undertook periodic folklore expeditions throughout the southern U.S. as well as the Caribbean, the material of which she incorporated into her literary and stage ventures (1928–60); held teaching posts for brief periods at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona, Florida, and North Carolina College for Negroes (1930s); worked for the WPA (1938–39) and, briefly, as a staff writer for Paramount Studios in California; suffered a decline in publications exacerbated by controversy extending from her political views and personal life (1940); a premature black nationalist, her autobiography, four novels and two books of folklore, together with numerous short stories and critical essays, made her the most prolific if controversial black writer of her time; living variously in New York City and rural Florida towns and on a houseboat or two, struggled to keep poverty at bay and the controversies that hounded her in check; spent last years fending off an intestinal illness that plagued her, and worked alternately as a public school teacher, technical librarian, and maid to support herself; after a stroke sent her to the St. Lucie County Welfare Home, she died, obscure, impoverished and nearly forgotten (January 28, 1960), and lies buried in an uncertainly marked grave at the Gardens of Heavenly Rest in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Awards: received two Guggenheim fellowships to collect folklore (1937–38); honorary doctorate from Morgan State (1939); Anisfield-Wolf award for contributing to race relations (Saturday Review, 1942); Howard University's Annual Distinguished Alumni Award (March 1943); Bethune-Cookman College Award for Education and Human Relations (May 1956).
Jonah's Gourd Vine (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1934, reprinted with an introductionby Larry Neal, 1971); Mules and Men (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1935, reprinted, with an introduction by Darwin Turner, NY: Harper and Row, 1970); Their Eyes Were Watching God (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1937, reprinted Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1978); Tell My Horse (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1938); Moses, Man of the Mountain (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1939, reprinted, Chatham, NJ: Chatham Bookseller, 1974); Dust Tracks on a Road (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1942, reprinted, with an introduction by Larry Neal, NY: J.B. Lippincott, 1971); Seraph on the Suwanee (NY: Scribner, 1948); (edited by Cheryl Wall) Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories (2 vols., Library of America, 1995).
"John Redding Goes to Sea," in Stylus (May 1921, pp. 11–22); "Drenched in Light," in Opportunity (December 1924, pp. 371–374); "Spunk," in Opportunity (June 1925, pp. 171–173, reprinted in The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke, NY: Albert and Charles Boni, 1925, pp. 105–111); "Muttsy," in Opportunity (August 1926, pp. 246–250); "The Eatonville Anthology," in Messenger (September, October and November 1926, pp. 261–262+); "Color Struck: A Play," in Fire!! (November 1926, pp. 7–15); "Sweat," in Fire!! (November 1926, pp. 40–45); "The First One: A Play" in Ebony and Topaz (edited by Charles S. Johnson, NY: National Urban League, 1927, pp. 53–57); "Cudjo's Own Story of the Last African Slaver," in Journal of Negro History (October 1927, pp. 648–663); "How It Feels To Be Colored Me," in World Tomorrow (May 1928, pp. 215–216); "Hoodoo in America," in Journal of American Folklore (October–December 1931, pp. 317–418); "The Gilded Six-Bits," in Story (August 1933, pp. 60–70); "Characteristics of Negro Expression," "Conversions and Visions," "Shouting," "The Sermon," "Mother Catherine," "Uncle Monday," "Spirituals and Neo-Spirituals," in Negro: An Anthology (edited by Nancy Cunard , London: Wishart, 1934); "The Fire and the Cloud," in Challenge (September 1934, pp. 10–14); "The 'Pet Negro' System," in American Mercury (May 1943, pp. 593–600); "High John De Conqueror," in American Mercury (October 1943, pp. 450–458); "Negroes Without Self-Pity," in American Mercury (November 1943, pp. 601–603); "The Last Slave Ship," in American Mercury (March 1944, pp. 351–358); "My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience," in Negro Digest (June 1944, pp. 25–26); "Crazy for the Democracy," in Negro Digest (December 1945, pp. 45–48); "Conscience of the Court," in Saturday Evening Post (March 18, 1950, pp. 22–23, 112–122); "I Saw Negro Votes Peddled," in American Legion Magazine (November 1950, pp. 12–13+); "What White Publishers Won't Print," in Negro Digest (April 1950, pp. 85–89); "A Negro Voter Sizes Up Taft," in Saturday Evening Post (December 8, 1951, pp. 29+).
The ambiguity surrounding Zora Neale Hurston's birth date seems ominously connected to her uncertain gravesite, a testament both to the elusiveness of fame as well as to the searing certainty of race and sex discrimination. Contemporary critics and writers, like Mary Helen Washington and Alice Walker , consider Hurston to be the unacknowledged spiritual mother of the many successful African-American women writers from mid-century to the present, and are committed to seeing that her literary achievements get their well-deserved recognition. Indeed, Hurston, who hailed from a remote town in an underdeveloped state, transcended the severe restrictions that early-20th-century America placed on her race and sex to become a key contributor to the black cultural and literary revolution known as the Harlem Renaissance.
The acclaimed "ethnographer" of Eatonville was born in that remote Florida wilderness town with certainty on the 7th of January, and with less certainty, either in 1891 (according to one brother and a 1900 census taker) or 1901 (according to her literary biographer and various other sources). Zora, named by her mother after a neighbor woman, was notoriously misleading on the subject of her age. For a woman who was compelled to plead for money for shoes from her patron in her writing years and to live off welfare in her closing years, this matter of age might seem an odd vanity.
The sixth of eight children of a mulatto father and an educated mother, Zora took well to country living in a large house in the first incorporated all-black town of Eatonville, just five miles away from Orlando. According to literary biographer Robert Hemenway, Zora was an imaginative, intelligent, and adventurous child who was encouraged by her mother Lucy Ann Hurston to "jump at de sun" and urged to quell her unseemly ambitions (for a black female) by her father. John Hurston was a formidable man who owned property and provided well for his family despite his philandering ways, until the untimely death of Lucy Ann on September 19, 1904. He remarried shortly thereafter, and Zora's stepmother had little time for Lucy Ann's youngest, elementary-school-age daughter. Zora was sent off to live with an older brother in Jacksonville, Florida, where she learned for the first
time the unpleasant lesson of what it was like to be black in a white society. When funds dried up, she moved back and forth between Eatonville and Jacksonville, working at times as a maid and pursuing her passion for reading before she landed a position as a "wardrobe girl in a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company," writes Hemenway. Less than two years later, she left the troupe and found herself in Baltimore, Maryland, enrolled in Morgan Academy, where she completed high school a year later (June of 1918) while living with a minister's family. At this time and for the next several years, she worked alternately as waitress, maid, and manicurist. Although the financial and personal hardships of these schooling years may have portended her later destitution, they also served as a testing ground in the art of survival. Time and time again, Zora Neale Hurston had to fall back on this art.
By 1923, Hurston was enrolled in Howard University, an all-black school in Washington, D.C. She had completed prep school at Howard in 1919, and in 1920 she met her first husband Howard Sheen, a fellow student, jazz pianist, and future doctor. After he went off to medical school at the University of Chicago, they maintained a long-distance relationship and did not marry until 1927. Hurston had her own as yet unshaped aspirations for which she was just setting a course in Washington, despite a checkered scholastic performance. More important, at Howard University Hurston also became involved with the campus literary club and the evening discussion groups at the home of black poet Georgia Douglas Johnson . Her first literary success came in 1924 when the campus magazine, the Stylus, published Hurston's "John Redding Goes to Sea." The short story combined folklore and fiction and grounded Hurston's inimitable art in Eatonville, Florida, and the cast of black characters and stories that populated it. Her publication and Washington connections brought Hurston to the attention of New York and key proponents and architects of the Harlem Renaissance, most particularly Charles S. Johnson, editor of Opportunity. Other successes soon followed. "Drenched in Light" was published in the New York-based Opportunity magazine in December of 1924, followed by "Spunk" and a contest-winning play entitled "Color Struck" in 1925. Zora Neale Hurston accepted the prize and an invitation to a dinner in New York City. Her course was set.
By 1926–27, Hurston had earned a place in the black literary world as well as a scholarship to exclusive, albeit white, Barnard College. The awards dinner had also introduced her to noted novelist Fannie Hurst who kindly hired Hurston as a secretary, a function for which the fledgling writer and living-room performer-storyteller showed little talent. While Zora enjoyed entertaining her new circle of friends with her wit and lively down-home stories, she was applying herself fervently to the science of anthropology which allowed her, writes Hemenway, "to confront her culture both emotionally and analytically." It must have pleased Hurston to learn that her own lived experience was also an area of legitimate and timely study. By 1927, Zora Neale Hurston—singular black student of Barnard College, personal secretary of a famous novelist, and a published writer herself—welcomed anthropology as a future profession and means of supporting herself. Her hopefulness at this time may have prompted her to marry her long-distance sweetheart, Howard Sheen, on May 19, 1927, in St. Augustine, Florida. But she could not play the role of the traditional wife willing to give up all to follow her husband. She returned to New York and her promising career, and the divorce was finalized on July 7, 1931.
Throughout the 1920s, Zora rode the wave of the Jazz Age in America with its unprecedented freedom and white liberal principles that sparked an interest in black oppression, culture, and history. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born and the "New Negro" was migrating to the North for better jobs and equal opportunities. Black artists and intellectuals led the way, ironically referring to themselves as the "Nigerati." The push for social consciousness and change within this cultural movement was strong, but Hurston, more taken with exploring and valuing the black aesthetic, shied away from social and political agendas in her work and the push to redeem the black race. Besides, she did not necessarily agree that blacks were in need of redemption, a view that stemmed from her largely positive experience growing up in Eatonville, a most unique and independent all-black community.
Hurston saw folklore as a genuine poetry of her people, and she attempted to capture its simplicity, sound, humor, and wisdom in her fictional writing. Her studies in anthropology under Dr. Franz Boas encouraged Hurston to pursue the science or study of folklore, resulting in a lifelong interest in collecting African-American and Caribbean folklore. According to Hemenway, she straddled the respectable and disciplined world of Barnard and the imaginative and liberating world of the writer. Indeed, black folklore served as a bridge between Hurston's racial past and her evolving artist-intellectual self.
After receiving her B.A. degree from Barnard, her success as oral and written bearer of African-American stories led to a grant from the Columbia University anthropology department in 1928, under the direction of Boas. "Anthropology," according to critic Lillie P. Howard , "gave Zora the analytical tools for returning to the South and tapping the rich reservoir of material passed around among black folks every day." Other collecting trips followed, subsidized by wealthy white patron Charlotte Osgood Mason , who supported ethnic arts as well as other artists like Langston Hughes. Mason also ruled her pet artists with an iron fist, requiring a contract in which Hurston agreed to give Mason any publication rights over all material collected. Hurston was amply supplied with a car and money for travel, but she found herself in the uncomfortable position of having to please "godmother"; Mason's patronage was problematic, notes Hemenway, despite what Hurston referred to as their "psychic bond," and led to "dependency and bitterness."
The demands of the scientific approach also caused Hurston some problems. In one instance, she provided her director with an account of Cudjo Lewis, "only survivor of the last-known slave ship," in a published article entitled "Cudjo's Own Story of the Last African Slaver." Although she had interviewed Lewis herself, Hurston plagiarized most of the information from a previously published account, a fact which remained obscured until well after her death. Hurston was evidently too preoccupied with collecting folklore and hoodoo and planning a black opera with friend and sometime-fellow traveler Langston Hughes. Evidently the rigid documentation requirements of the academic approach did not suit her free-wheeling style. Her lack of discernment in this regard may well have contributed to the later fall-out with Hughes over rights to their mutual theatrical enterprise, "Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life." During a folklore trip through the South in 1928, they had agreed to write and produce a work that would reflect the true nature and spirit of black life, minus the slapstick and patronizing characteristic of its predecessors. At the center of their disagreement was authorship and a secretary whom Hughes wanted to include as a partner, compounded by the possibility of jealousy on Hurston's part. The disagreement resulted in bitter personal conflict, litigation, and controversy, and "Mule Bone" never made it to the stage.
While Hughes broke away from "godmother" Mason, Hurston continued to be financially, and in some ways emotionally, dependent on her until 1932, nearly a year beyond the original contract. In the meantime, Hurston submitted numerous folklore manuscripts, according to biographer Hemenway, only to receive the proverbial rejection letter. Mason did agree to put up a sum of money in early 1932 to help Hurston produce "A Great Day," a well-reviewed musical based on her folklore that later made appearances in Chicago and Florida. Without any source of income, Hurston knocked around New York City, struggling with the fear and uncertainty that accompany unemployment and tenuous artistic projects. She had to hock her own car and radio to get "A Great Day" to the stage and never recouped her losses despite successful performances at the John Golden Theater and the New School of Social Research in New York. Broadway, however, declined to pick up the show, and, her days of patronage over, Hurston accepted a position in the Creative Literature Department at Rollins College of Winter Park, Florida, with the intent of producing a program of black art in concert. Her short-lived appointment did not bring Hurston the professional satisfaction or financial rewards she desired. By the spring of 1932, she returned to Eatonville jobless, scratching around for money to finance basic necessities and recovering from the stomach problems that plagued her throughout her adult life.
I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.
—Zora Neale Hurston
Stress-free Eatonville offered the soothing balm that Hurston needed to heal and reconnect with her muse. A flurry of professional and literary activity followed. After seeing "The Gilded Six-Bits" published in Story magazine in 1933, she enjoyed a brief stint as a drama instructor at Bethune-Cookman, an all-black college in Daytona, Florida. But none of her various academic appointments lasted for very long—due in part to a lack of sufficient support and resources—and this one was no exception. By 1932, she had completed work on her collection of field notes begun two years earlier and intended for her first book of folklore, the highly regarded Of Mules and Men (1935). Nevertheless, it was Jonah's Gourd Vine, an autobiographical novel, that first found a publishing home with Lippincott in 1934. She wrote her first novel on a card table in a one-room house with barely enough money for food, since Lippincott withheld the $200 advance until the completed manuscript was submitted. It took her three months to write, and she had to borrow the money to mail it to the publisher.
Jonah's Gourd Vine paved the way for Mules and Men. This collection of folktales, legends, hoodoo practices, and songs cinched Hurston's reputation as an authority on African-American folklore. The narrator functions as both participant and observer, thereby dramatizing the process of collecting folklore and drawing the reader into the experience. Hurston's unique talent was making a foreign experience entertaining and accessible, particularly to a white audience. Black critics later turned this talent against her, claiming that she catered to a white audience. Clearly, Hurston found herself in a Catch-22 position. Her lifelong goal was to make black art and folklore known to the masses, and to do this she had to work with mostly white-owned publishing companies. In addition, unlike many of her black contemporaries, Hurston concerned herself with celebrating black art and life rather than with railing against an unjust white system. Her views and art did not match the tenor of social protest that was so fashionable in the 1930s and early 1940s. As a result, Hurston found herself both out of step and the persistent target of criticism.
Early 1935 was punctuated by a failed love affair with a much younger college student, even as Hurston was negotiating a fellowship with Columbia University in the doctoral program. She had attracted the attention of the Rosenwald Foundation with a variation of "A Great Day"—retitled "Singing Steel"—that was performed in Chicago in November of 1934. Hurston was keen on this popular way of bringing black folk art to the people and of shattering racist myths and stereotypes. But the practical realities of financing combined with her need to earn a living made it impossible for Hurston to continue mounting costly theatrical productions. Both Bethune-Cookman College and Fisk University flirted with Hurston, whose reputation by now was established, with talk of heading a dramatic department. Neither of these prospects materialized, however, leaving Hurston in the precarious position of earning her living with her pen. Nor did the plans with Columbia materialize, partly because of Hurston's own ambivalence as well as the foundation's concerns over Hurston's unorthodox methods and field-study plans.
June of 1935 found Hurston living in Belle Glade, Florida, working with a young folklorist involved with collecting black recordings in the South for the Library of Congress. Indeed, one of Hurston's invaluable contributions to the folklore collection was the ease and safety with which she and her white counterparts moved through rural black communities. This year also marked Hurston's final departure from the study of folklore as an academic and scientific inquiry. Instead, the folk materials she gathered so assiduously would serve her art as a writer. Two years later, Their Eyes Were Watching God, her finest and most successful novel, was published, appropriately setting forth a black female heroine in search of selfhood and liberation. The years 1936–37 were good ones for Hurston who, while working for the WPA Federal Theater Project, was also awarded two Guggenheim fellowships for another folklore trip to the West Indies, one which extended into the following year and sent Hurston home with her most serious intestinal illness.
After the publication of a third book of folktales, Tell My Horse, she went to work for the Florida Federal Writers Project, collecting folklore until 1939 and contributing to a volume called The New Negro. Not one to sit still for very long at a desk, Hurston accepted another position teaching and developing a drama department, this time at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham. Again pleading lack of resources, she spent most of her time planning to mount a play with Paul Green at Chapel Hill's theater department. Although the play never materialized and the teaching position did not last, another book, Moses, Man of the Mountain, was published in 1939, marking a productive era for the struggling writer-folklorist. The same year also saw her second and ultimately unsuccessful foray into marriage with a former WPA colleague, the much younger Albert Price III, on June 27 in Fernadina, Florida. Although the divorce was not final until 1943, the marriage was over long before that, as Hurston's work proved always to be her primary occupation.
At the suggestion of her editor, Hurston reluctantly agreed to write her autobiography in 1941, and to do so she accepted an invitation to stay with Katherine Mershon , a wealthy friend living in California. While there, she did some writing for Paramount Studios, and even though her work was interrupted by the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Hurston completed the first manuscript of Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). The editor reportedly took many liberties with the manuscript, excising some of Hurston's strong anti-military views, among others. But she needed the money and as usual was not in a position to argue with her white employers. Ironically, despite its popularity and positive reviews, this book drew much criticism for its "whitewashing" of the black experience and its appeal to white readers. But always iconoclastic, Hurston nurtured her own vision, refusing to paint a bleak picture of black life which did not match her optimistic view and celebration of black courage, culture, and art.
Dust Tracks proved to be a blend of autobiography and fiction, perhaps because of Hurston's affinity for the "tall tale" combined with her self-protectiveness. Entertaining and engaging, Dust Tracks is not the source to consult for the facts of Hurston's life but for the true flavor of her expansive spirit. As it turned out, by 1942 and the time of its publication, Hurston's successful creative productivity had run its course. Why? Certainly, Hurston's continuous struggle with keeping poverty at bay must have taken its toll, along with the lingering effects of her chronic stomach illness and lack of medical care. The controversy and criticism spurred by her unpopular nationalistic views also plagued Hurston, and she often resorted to defending herself in print. But the crowning factor in her professional and personal demise may well be traced to her arrest in New York City in September of 1948 on contrived charges of immoral acts with a ten-year-old boy. A thorough investigation revealed that Hurston's landlord and the mother of the boy acted vindictively against Hurston for giving some unwanted advice on the care of her mildly retarded son. Hurston was out of the country collecting folklore on the dates of the alleged criminal acts, but that did not prevent her arrest or the scandal that followed once the story was picked up by the black newspapers. The experience must have stung Hurston who, having suffered the indignity of the unfair arrest, learned later that it was a black man who peddled the story to the newspapers. Though the court dismissed the charges a year later, the damage to Hurston's life and reputation had already occurred in the press.
Despite her penchant for travel and up until her traumatic arrest in 1948, Hurston spent a good deal of her time during the 1940s living peacefully on houseboats in Florida, cruising along the pristine Halifax River when she was not docked at Daytona. During these tranquil years before the scandal, she planned another collecting trip, this time to the Honduras, but it never panned out. She continued writing with little success, even after being picked up by Scribner's, publishing home of friend and fellow Florida writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings . Times got tougher for Hurston when she had no source of income, and the "woman who had traversed
the rural South," writes Hemenway, "living in turpentine camps and sawmills, playing jook songs on her guitar while packing a pearlhandled revolver in her purse" suddenly found herself "staring at a bleak future."
After 1948, Hurston resumed living and working but never quite recovered her former ebullient self. While magazines picked up her articles periodically, her full-length works were met with rejection, including a major study she completed on the life of Herod the Great. From 1951 to 1956, she lived reasonably peacefully in a cabin for $20 a month with her two dogs at Eau Gallie, Florida, and "by 1956 Zora was middle-aged and considerably overweight," notes Hemenway, with little money and no energy to earn it. After being expelled by her white landlord, Hurston wandered around Florida from one low-paying job to another—a technical librarian at Patrick Air Force Base, a substitute teacher at Lincoln Park Academy, a contributor to the Fort Pierce Journal, a maid for a wealthy woman in Miami—none of which fulfilled her or provided much of an income. The years before her death found her suffering from obesity, ulcers, and the persistent intestinal problems, while living in Fort Pierce, Florida, in a rented green concrete-block house. The landlord, a physician who also took it upon himself to look after Hurston, waived the $10-weekly rent when he perceived the direness of her situation. He could not prevent the stroke she suffered, however, which sent her to the St. Lucie County Welfare home in October of 1959. Refusing to inform family and friends of her impoverished condition, she died virtually alone and penniless from hypertensive heart disease on January 28, 1960. Contributions paid for her burial in a segregated Fort Pierce cemetery. Although she was remembered fondly by some and not so fondly by others, the poor black girl from rural Florida managed to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of African-American folklore and literature. As Lillie Howard put it: "A picaro, she had wandered incessantly, anchoring from time to time but always casting off for farther horizons. She had soared to the skies only to fall back to earth."
In 1973, renowned African-American writer Alice Walker returned to Hurston's home and place of burial, distressed to find that her grave could not be pinpointed with certainty because it lacked a marker. She had one made and placed on the approximate location, and the epitaph she created intends to correct the longstanding wrong done to Hurston's life and work. It reads:
"A Genius of the South"
Novelist, Folklorist, Anthropologist
Hemenway, Robert E. Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography. Foreword by Alice Walker. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1977.
Howard, Lillie P. Zora Neale Hurston. Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 1980.
Hurston, Zora Neal. Dust Tracks on a Road. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1984.
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing and Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader. Edited by Alice Walker. NY: The Feminist Press, 1979.
Zora! Zora Neale Hurston: A Woman and Her Community. Compiled and edited by Nathiri. Orlando, FL: Sentinel Communication, 1991.
Lyons, Mary E. Sorrow's Kitchen: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (juvenile). NY: Scribner, 1993.
Wall, Cheryl, ed. Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories. 2 vols., Library of America, 1995 (complete works of Hurston).
Zora Neale Hurston Museum in Belle Glade, Florida.
Kathleen A.Waites Lamm , Professor of English and Women's Studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida