Happy birthday to Zora Neale Hurston!

Zora Neale Hurston, a black writer, ethnographer, presumed lesbian and all-around badass, was born on this day in 1891. Hurston’s most famous work, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is required reading in classrooms across the nation.

Hurston is said to have lived and wrote out of the context of white people, meaning that she did not study black people in relation to white people, but black people as their own, independent culture. She also opposed the Supreme Court decision on Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education, which integrated schools and declared “separate is not equal,” because she believed it told black teachers that they were not good enough to teach black students.

She also heavily studied the voodoo and hoodoo culture in New Orleans and was an up-and-comer during the Harlem Renaissance. Her works, which fell into oblivion following her death, were revived by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple.

To learn more about Hurston, watch this short video on 365gay.com or read a brief bio here.

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15 thoughts on “Happy birthday to Zora Neale Hurston!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Happy birthday to Zora Neale Hurston! « Stuff Queer People Need To Know -- Topsy.com

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  3. You “White Folk” always seem to think you know it all concerning Black people… Your arrogance and sick sense of entitlement amazes me. You’ve never walked in our shoes. Doesn’t matter if she was a lesbian, Bi or straight. She was a Black Woman first & foremost. She was called Nigger because she was a lesbian. White Folk always want to define us…define our culture then explain it back to us. White Folk, your opinion doesn’t matter. It’s for not. Stop inserting yourself in other cultures then telling that culture how it should or shouldn’t be. In other words stop being a “Culture Vulture”. Every time I turn around some white person is assimilating a culture, then define it as their own. You repackage… sort of like you’ve done with the African culture, oh but you call it “TRIBAL”. Give it a break. Be yourself…. once you figure out who you truly are.

  4. Oh why do you write after 1.00 AM? Go to bed! Just because a few “internet scholars” fancy her, it doesn’t mean she was a lesbian..that’s retro-rape not respect or affection, and she would surely laugh at your clumsy attempts to shield her from the nasty old “white folk” of your dreams. Her talent and her wit was worn lightly and with style :
    it contrasts starkly with the whining and the bitterness of her posthumous hangers-on. Shield her from your own shallowness and vanity and you will be on a more promising path. If you want to honour her memory in a small way, stop moaning like you’re a genuine slave in chains:you’re not a genuine slave:you’re more likely an over-fed book-phobic malcontent,possibly descended from slaves and or slave owners or others.
    White people have feelings too you know.

    • Sort of sad that the gay community has latched onto a rumor that was probably created by Zora’s jealous peers and critics. The very same people who set out to ruin her career and succeeded. I personally know people who were friends with Zora while she lived down here in Brevard County, FL. None of them mentioned any female relationships, but all of them noted that she was outspoken and caused her a job at the local library.

      Even Alice Walker refutes the truth in this rumor:

      “Zora was funny, irreverent, (she was the first to call the Harlem Renaissance literati the “niggerati”), good-looking and sexy…They disliked her apparent sensuality: the way she tended to marry or not marry men, but enjoyed them anyway, while never missing a beat in her work. They hinted slyly that Zora was gay, or at least bisexual–how else could they account for her drive?–though there is not a shred of evidence that this was true.”

  5. Is there any substantial evidence that Zora Neale Hurston was gay? I know there is evidence that she was married three times and wrongly accused of molesting a young boy, but I haven’t heard of any defininative evidence that she was and I know people who worked with her while she lived in Brevard County, FL. And none of them said she was and out Lesbian. They said she was outspoken, but it wasn’t about sexuality. Her main focus had always been about preseving black culture at all cost.

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