Great American Writers

Zora Neale Hurston

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Yesterday, I took my Border Collie, Miles, to the veterinarian. These days, they’re doing “curbside receiving”, a slow process, so I grabbed from my stack of waiting readables a book to crack while waiting in the car. The title happened to be, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston. She wrote this novel in 1937, during years known as the period of “Harlem Renaissance”.

That period is known, too, as the “great migration”, when blacks were leaving the South to escape a restrictive and brutal world of Jim Crow. They moved en mass to northern cities that had manufacturing processes and were creating available work, and also, moved West to the Golden State.

Those were the times of Hurston, a wonderful writer. Others, too, wrote beautifully–like, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. My early interests in literature and psychology led me to the works of these authors. They impacted the worldview of this Oklahoma-raised, somewhat backward young girl.

All that flooded my mind while becoming reacquainted with Hurston’s talent and perceptiveness. In years past, I tried to read “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and failed, because she had written much of its dialogue in Southern uneducated dialect. In those days I couldn’t slow down to absorb what her characters were saying. Yesterday, was different, for I felt strongly her characters’ sensibilities and qualities, and even more appreciated Hurston.

I’m running out of time and will close here. After finishing this book, I’ll write more about it.

Dear Friends: I’ll horseback ride today, focused still on mapping and wanting more specifics. Diana

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