Hurston’s Place in the Literary Canon
Zora Neale Hurston was a great author who influenced black history through the Harlem Renaissance, inspired a handful of other famous writers, and shined her bright personality through her collection of novels, short stories, autobiographies, plays, and essays. Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama in 1891 but soon moved to Eatonville, Florida where she would reside and begin her literary art. Hurston and her large family lived happily in Eatonville; the nation’s first incorporated Black Township. Everywhere you looked there was evidence of black achievement, so growing up in this culturally affirming setting, Hurston found home. “Hurston's idyllic childhood came to an abrupt end, though, when her mother died in 1904. Zora was only 13 years old. "That hour began my wanderings," she later wrote. "Not so much in geography, but in time. Then not so much in time as in spirit."” (Boyd) Hurston began publishing her writing right around the time that the Harlem Renaissance began. To escape oppression in the south, Hurston migrated north to Baltimore where she would really begin her writing career. After submitting a few short stories to various magazines, she got her confidence up. When she got second place at a literary contest, she published “Spunk” her first of many short stories to come. Hurston, along with a few others revolutionized literature with their innovative forms and unique writing subjects. Soon the rest of world began to see the uprising of black literature, which made a huge impact on the lives of African Americans. Seeing the success made by Hurston and other writers through literature was a big step for black history. “Zora Neale Hurston is considered to be one of the most influential contributors to the Harlem Renaissance period. She was an established American anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist who was not only an inspiration to those surrounding her, but she affected aspiring creators all across the...
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