In a subdivision of New York City called Harlem, Blacks migrated to the North from the South in 1919. They sought a place to settle and develop self-identity as the New Negro (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmharlem1.html). Through art and creative expression individuals birthed the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance introduced many writers, poets, singers and leaders who would leave a mark in today’s society. These individuals include: Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Madame C. J. Walker, Marcus Garvey and my favorite Zora Neale Hurston.
Today is her birthday. I decided to recognize her and her great works like Their Eyes Were Watching God. According to an article by Noah Rayman, the novel is recognized as one of the top novels of the 20th century (http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/01/07/zora-neale-hurston-google-doogle/).
Hurston faced many adversities as a young black writer who moved from Eatonville, Fla. to Harlem in 1925. It didn’t stop her. My favorite quote is “My eyes and my mind keep taking me where my old legs can’t keep up.” My depiction of this quote is that her thoughts moving a thousand miles per hour. Although she died in poverty, I truly admire this woman because regardless of her struggle, she didn’t let anything hold her down. She left home at 14. She worked odds and ends jobs until she was able to find something that worked for her. In an article by Amy Hubbard, she referenced Carla Kaplan from a piece on the Los Angeles Times who said, “Hurston was, in her own terms, ‘bodacious’ – bold, pioneering, and always brave about stepping into the public sphere.” Boldness takes strength, and Hurston was that. She didn’t give up on her dream, and neither can I.
I thank women like Hurston who helped paved the way for writers like myself to continue fulfilling the dream of creative expression through words. Happy Birthday Zora!