On this day in Alabama history: Acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston was born

On this day in Alabama history: Acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston was born
Zora Neale Hurston poses at the New York Times Book Fair in New York City in 1937. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Library of Congress)

January 7, 1981

Zora Neale Hurston was an influential member of the Harlem Renaissance. The author, folklorist, journalist and dramatist is best known for her novels, particularly “Their Eyes Were Watching God” published in 1937. Hurston, a complex and controversial figure, ardently promoted African-American culture. Her short stories, plays, and novels reflect her interest in anthropology and used material she collected while working on various funded expeditions around the South and in Haiti and Jamaica. Controversy surrounding Hurston begins with her birthplace, which most scholars believe is Notasulga, in east Alabama. She was born on this day, the fifth child of John Hurston and Lucy Potts Hurston. When she was 3, her family moved to Eatonville, Florida. Hurston said that Eatonville was “home” to her as she grew up in the community. Her father was elected as mayor of the town in 1897 and in 1902 became minister of its largest church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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