Happy Birthday, Zora
Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, probably 1891 and most probably in Notasulga, Alabama - though she grew up in Eatonsville, Florida, an all-black incorporated township. She attended Howard University but couldn't afford to finish her studies. Later she received a scholarship to Barnard College where she received her B.A. in anthropology in 1927. While at Barnard, she conducted ethnographic research under her advisor, the noted anthropologist Franz Boas of Columbia University. She also worked with Ruth Benedict as well as fellow anthropology student Margaret Mead. Her best work, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was written in just seven weeks and published in 1937. A novelist and anthropologist, member of the Harlem Renaissance yet conservative libertarian in her politics, disengaged from the civil rights movement and concerned with representing blacks as they were, she wrote many excellent books yet died in penniless obscurity.