There aren’t enough words to explain what Zora Neale Hurston has done for me and other Black writers and her influence and force will never go unnoticed or unappreciated. 129 years of Zora influences and I’m still learning and in awe of her. Reading about her life is bittersweet because of how she died and knowing she didn’t receive the praise and proper credit she deserved until after she died.
I love books that use AAVE and center Black women and Hurston laid the groundwork for the Black southern woman experience. When people say Black Americans lack culture, I point them to Hurston because she dedicated her life to illustrating our culture through words and traditions passed down by our ancestors who arrived here during slavery.
When she died, Alice Walker bought her a headstone. Hurston had chronic illnesses and was in a home when she died.
Zora will never be forgotten. Happy birthday, forever and ever.