Google Doodle Honors Zora Neale Hurston, Black Cultural Giant

'Their Eyes Were Watching God' is considered among the top novels of the 20th century

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Today’s Google Doodle honors the American novelist, activist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, who was born on Jan. 7, 1891.

Born in Alabama and raised in Florida, Hurston would become of the most influential black authors of the twentieth century, mingling in circles of the Harlem Renaissance and influencing generations to come. TIME included her among 50 cultural giants in African-American history, and her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which starkly portrays the life of a black woman in early twentieth century Florida, is often cited as one of the top novels of the last century.

“This is the great tale of black female survival in a world beset by bad weather and bad men,” TIME wrote about the novel in 2010, in its list of the 100 best English-language novels. “Her succulent book has its stretches of overripe prose, but that’s the price of taking the chances she takes with language, chances you have to take to arrive at the witchy places she gets to. (Sizing up her third husband, Tea Cake, she notices “his lashes curling sharply like drawn scimitars.”) It’s a short book, but you savor it.”

Hurston’s work included four novels, dozens of short stories, plays and essays, and two books of folklore based on her anthropological research that captured some of the oral history of African Americans.

“I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions,” she once wrote.

Hurston died in Florida in 1960.

20 comments
yshabazz2
yshabazz2

I loved Zora Neale Hurston.  Much respect to this lady!

LulaDemps
LulaDemps

I would just like to say thank you to google. For celebrating the birth of this amazing African American lady, i would never had known of her if not for you. She was diffidently before her time. her writings have blew my mine.

mstephensbooker
mstephensbooker

Thanks for this bit of information on Ms. Hurston.  Who knew?

niggeronwelfare
niggeronwelfare

Was she a bigger giant than Andre the giant? Cuz i never herd of her !

etraynumcameron
etraynumcameron

LOVE Zora.  I agree with the others - she is an AMERICAN cultural icon.  As a black American woman, I feel  that she is an American treasure and was ahead of her time in so many ways, even in regards to race issues in that she had no  problems being a black American woman and fully embraced the cultural heritage of black Americans and white Americans.  If one wants to give her a specific distinction, it would be better to label  her a southern writer.  One of my favorite books by her "Seraph on the Sewanee" was about a poor southern white family. 

Michy
Michy

My high school English and Lit teacher introduced me to Ms. Hurston and I have been in love ever since. Her style of writing and story telling is comparable to none!!! So glad they are honoring her in this way!!

LapisSafeiros
LapisSafeiros

Very nice article. Happy Birthday, Zora Hurston.

felicebuck44
felicebuck44

I IMMEDIATELY SAW THE QUEEN AS I LOOKED AT ZORA T' S PHOTOS!!! NOT JUST ME EVIDENTALLY!


QUESTION IS,"HOW DO WE GET THAT IDEA OUT INTO THE FILM WORLD TO AN EXPERIENCED SCREEN


WRITER AND CREW WITH PRODUCTION CAPITAL?

TeeCee
TeeCee

AMERICAN Icon... & "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is one of the best books I've ever read. Changed my whole way of thinking. 


mrssandra3000
mrssandra3000

Thank you for this article. I love her!  Yet of course, Zora Neale Hurston is an American Cultural Giant.  To list her as something other than that in the title does a diservice. Do authors of no color get listed as 'Non-Color Cultural Giants'?    I was blessed as a young girl to have discovered her book 'Moses Man of The Mountain' .Thank you for being one of my American Cultural Giants. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

kmitchelljd
kmitchelljd

Not really sure how I feel about my question and I hate to be this guy but...why does she have to be limited to a "Black Cultural Giant" in the title, instead of being labled as an American Icon in general?

RVincentMorgan
RVincentMorgan

Queen Latifah MUST play Zora in the movie!  She's a dead ringer, dontcha see?

CarolGronli
CarolGronli

@mrssandra3000Thanks for listing the book she wrote.  You'd think the article would have mentioned that one.  Sheesh.

mrssandra3000
mrssandra3000

@kmitchelljd You are not alone. What a Gift God Blessed Her with!  God Bless America - let's call a Gifted Giant a Gifted Giant so that her gift will be exposed and enlightened to all as a part of the American Experience.