Zora Neale Hurston was raised in Eatonville, Florida,
the first all-black community to be incorporated in the United States. After
some time at Howard University, she went on to Barnard College in New York
City and worked under the pioneer anthropologist Franz Boas. Among the major
figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora stood out: she was a liberated woman
in her time, one who wore slacks and smoked in public; yet, she was
politically conservative, in contrast to many of her fellow Renaissance
writers and artists. Her work drew heavily on her anthropology training; her
most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is enriched by her use of
African American dialect.
Lucy Anne Hurston's own work as an academic sociologist, with field research in Jamaica and St. Kitts, among other places, provides her with a unique connection to her aunt's perspective and life. She has been the producer and host of two documentaries on Zora and the director of a high school production of her play Mule Bone. Lucy Anne Hurston currently teaches sociology at Manchester Community College (CT) and lives in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
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