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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Federal Theatre Project as a drama coach and was later hired as a drama instructor by North Carolina College for Negroes at Durham in the summer of 1939. In March of 1936 Zora was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to study West Indian Obeah practices. In April of 1938 she joined the Federal Writers Project in Florida to work on The Florida Negro (Hurston 204). To most Zora Neale is most importantly remembered for her literary career. Zora Neale Hurston "a genius of the south" was the author of seven books and over one hundred short stories, plays, essays, and articles (Lyons IX). Zora's first attempt at literature was a poem, when she was eight years old (Lyons 2). In 1921 her literary career truly began in a formal fashion as she published her first story: John Reddings Goes to Sea in the Stylus, a school campus literary magazine (Lyons 32). In the Opportunity, a campus magazine, she placed second with Spunk, a short story, and Color Struck, a play (Lyons 35-7). After her college years she worked diligently with several other African American writers, but did most of her more renowned and known work by herself. The entire list of her published short stories include: Muttsy (Opportunity), Possum or Pig (Forum), The Eatonville Anthropology (Messenger), How It Feels to be Colored (World Tomorrow), The Gilded Six Bits (Story), The Fire and the Cloud (Challenge), Tell My Horse, Now Take Noses, Moses Man of the Mountains,