Today would have been Zora Neale Hurston’s 123rd birthday had she not died in poverty and infamy in the 1960s.
Renowned for her sharp wit, anthropological skill and dope stories about black women, Hurston was a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of American history known for its debauchery as well as literary creativity during the Jazz Age and Prohibition.
Hurston ran with poets and writers Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay and more, documenting and preserving African culture in the South of the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean. She had a sailor’s mouth and a smooth pen,publishing four novels, 50 short stories in addition to plays and essays. Her best known work is Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel.
Her accolades outshine the false, and later dismissed, charges that she molested a 13 year old boy. Hurston provided evidence that she was in Honduras when the supposed incident happened.
Hurston died in a nursing home after suffering a stroke. She is Legend.