Nowadays people are so lucky. They can find a lot of information about specific person in the past or present. Therefore, internet and reliable resources play significant role in the researches which helps. Thanks to professor who teaches differently. It was interesting to read and search information about African writer, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. In these resources authors described her from different angles, but there were similar characteristics. It has been reported that Zora Neale Hurston was a feminist who fought for African culture and more specifically for the rights of black people, namely for the rights of black women writers. This essay will divide to some paragraphs where will be discussed and compared about Zora Hurston life experiences and her researches.
At the beginning of this resource reflects Zora Neale Hurston biography that she was born in Notasulga, Alabama. Then author telling about her way to literature and her career, she started to write about African American life, it is remind me Alykul Osmonov (Kyrgyz writer who wrote about Kyrgyz life) who also faced difficulties in the literary world during his period of life and sought to make Kyrgyz culture valuable. During her university life she was tried to learn more about Haiti, Jamaica and she collected information about folklore. Mostly, author wrote about Zora Hurston’s first three novels. She focused on individuality of every person; it was a fight in literature world. Author described Hurston’s stories and each of her novels has something deeply and at the same time it is look like typically American family, romantic. Despite of some limits in black literature she wrote invented stories where was about political things. But not all Neale stories was romantic others was about crime and murder. Zora Neale Hurston was able to be a writer, but she preferred to have research and then even travel in that land to find evidences for own hypothesis. Author wrote really short information about her style in literature. In all Hurston’s stories the important things was innocence triumphs over corruption, also there was feminism that women always in a role of victim. Kaplan (2000) studied that married male unfaithfulness was chastised in Zora Hurston imagined world. She wrote that women as a subject of violence and violation of women’s rights (p.307). As an anthropologist her research was directed in specific area.
A person always seeks for education, especially in Zora Neale Hurston period, when black people had not rights for education and the possibility. She could not imagine that she could pass to Howard University, because in that time was some limits for black people and it was even impossible to pass universities like Howard. She started working but that was difficult for her to work in the clubs because she should pay tuition for university, where was white aristocrats. After long way to own dream she could pass to Howard University. Boyd (2003) wrote Zora Hurston’s words “You have taken me in. I am a tiny bit of your greatness. I swear to you that I shall never make you ashamed of me.’ (p.105). these her words were a motto and motivation for her. During study at the University she worked also in beauty shop as a part time job. At the morning she had classes and after work she had time for home works. She was very ambitious and aspired precisely because of her strength and self-belief that she managed everything. At the Howard University she tried herself in languages and English was the best that she tried to write her first writings. Ant she tried to show her feelings through paper. Then due to this job she start to earn money and she tried to be as other in the Howard university. She showed simple women feelings by buying dresses and beautiful clothes. Every woman has those feelings. Neale had a friend and they were members of one club. Zora Neale Hurston knew that she could do something better. And then she published her first poem. She was always a big dreamer and she contributed to this. Zora always had something inside which directed her to African culture. Hurston knew features of black language and published in this language some poems. She contributed own work to university community and here started her way in literature.
Zora Neale Hurston was one of those who considered necessary to communicate with white patrons, because they were the ones who sponsored black authors. Majority of authors were in one idea about Hurston and condemn her while others looked her from another angle. Interracial problem in Zora’s time most of black people wanted to be a special and wanted to be a different, to be noticed by white people because that way they could get the place they wanted. It could be money, grants and so on. So, what about black women? It was difficult for women to say something about their rights. Especially, there was a competition with black men writers. Author told about black literature that even black critics said about stories that they exaggerated. It is mostly about inside things in black culture. According to Story (1989) wrote that “The black writer sometimes gets his eyes so fixed on the white world and its ways of acting toward us that his vision becomes constricted. He reflects, if he is not careful, but one aspect of his people’s experiences: suffering, humiliation, degradation” (p.28). Black writers were fixated on one problem that they would not be able to convey the true needs and culture of the people. They wanted to convey that they are something more than just black people. One of the Zora Hurston books is “Watching God” where was described connection between man and women. Story (1989) found “Watching God is a novel that exposed philosophical differences between black men and women; equally significant, the reviews of the novel revealed a literary division of labor and hierarchy before there was a concerted and consistently visible women’s movement, which has provided the ideological and literary foreground for the views of black women writers” (p.29). She wrote that black women writers had different values, while black male writers had the same vision of problems, black men writers did not want to see women fighting for sexual equality. Zora Neale Hurston was a women who stated to debate for women equality. Therefore, here was feminism in Hurston; she tried to get role for black women writers in that society.
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Since childhood Zora Neale Hurston was different child. Area where she grew up is called Eatonville. The city which was called “Black town”. Hurston wrote a book “Mules and men”. Abbott (1991) found notes “Florida is a place that draws people white people from all over the world and Negroes from every Southern state surely and some from the North and West” (p.176). Therefore, she collected most of her research information here. She tried to observe area. In anthropology is called participant observation when an anthropologist involved by himself/herself to research. Besides, she got an opportunity to learn black folklore. Without any doubt, that was exactly what she wanted. Zora Neale Hurston in the end of her life was a poor woman. Then her literature career finish when she died as a poor woman who was not materialist. Author described a life after her death that they investigate her literature. After her death was stated Zora Neale Hurston Festival where participated female writers who praised her. In the festival was a lot of sphere starting from charity and so on. And then they had “Zora Neale Hurston memory” all people there start to think about writer. In which side they know her. One side is that she was just a part of her family, other side that she was a great anthropologist and author of poems. Some people had a tour in that places where Zora Neale Hurston was. She created herself as a strong woman, which wanted equality in literature world for all. And people loved her for it.
According to Curren (1995) the title of Zora Neale Hurston’s book is a key for Afro American life, black folk culture. The names of her book could mean something, many modern critics tried to analyze it though her novels. She wanted to increase the value of black literature, culture. Zora Neale Hurston gradually started to add all back society to literature world (p.17). Firstly, just like background and then step by step. For white people should be found appropriate approach and then move all what she wanted to add and show. Hurston was a realistic and tried to show it. The author of this article described plot of Zora’s book. He wanted to fasten all this facts by this. It was difficult for Zora to find a common language through literature. People cannot quickly start to adopt to something new, white people who had power and control did not want some changes. Especially, if it was a true or facts. At a time when there was racism and discrimination against its people. The rivalry between white people poets and black people poets. In all academic resources there is at least one percent mention that Zora fought for African culture. It’s one thing to write what you think and want and another thing to be judged for it. This was the fate she had chosen. Hurston was from Baptist Church where questions like how and what were undesirable to young girl. She was interesting more about African religion and folklore, but there also about Haiti and Voodoo. Hurston tried to show that voodoo and hoodoo evil.
One of the interesting facts that Zora Neale Hurston could sing. Majority of critics said that she used and sung like vocalist, but even here she had frameworks and she could not sing about her feelings. Neal was interested in black culture and she thought about black society in real and not real. Then authors collected her collector of songs. No wonder she was one of those women who fought for black women’s rights. African folklore is a culture that was interesting to Hurston; also she had a folklore voice. Zora Neale Hurston fascinating person who combined anthropology, literature, singing, theatre and all this like folklore. She was slandered in deception and many envied her. She fought for the people’s tradition and heritage. She had her own method of giving her feelings to her readers. She kept the balance between folklore and poetry and who but her could do it. Stupid ideology that women were forbidden everything and all the time they were oppressed. Not only were women being oppressed at that time but it was also unfortunate that black people were being oppressed and there were also their own oppressions inside of it. This is what she struggled with and the call of her works led to it. A call for justice and respect for its people. Reasoning all this in our time, too, there are some places where discrimination and violation of human rights continues. Thanks to Zora the right to vote and a normal life began from that time. Her feminist view inspires modern readers of our world. It is in such lessons as philosophy that its actions and actions are discussed. Especially if you are lucky with a Professor who teaches a completely different way. Then the last chapter in this article is about Hurston and Ethel. She took an example from Zora and mastered the skills that she did and of course the author says that many people took an example from her. She put on concert productions through which she conveyed the femininity of black women.
Zora Neale Hurston anthropologist, black woman writer by Tell My Horse analyzed value of black life, which was close to her. How many people do not know the essence or even the existence of this branch as anthropology? If we talk about his research it is that anthropologists are beginning to look for new horizons of research with different methods which are what Zora Neale did. Hurston as an anthropologist knew that the best way to learn is participant observation when you also participate in that society that you learning, you live, eat, play and doing everything with that people. According to Mikell (1982) “Hurston’s approach in Tell My Horse is consistent with her personalized approach to black Southern culture of which she was intimately a part. She had learned the richness and depth of black life, and yet was convinced that, having ‘been pitched headforemost into… the crib of Negroism, I had to have the spyglass of anthropology to look through” (p.219). she learned about Haiti as a colonial land. Then it was daily life of people in Jamaica. All this things was anthropological methods which she preferred. In her research she mentioned skin color discrimination, relationship between women and men. The most important part of her research was specially this. What did women do to deserve such treatment? And she wanted to find out because that was her main goal. In all the research she had, she mentioned freedom. This is a kind of food for thought for the modern critic. The role of women was not important in their society and life. When men wanted whiter wife, while black women was just defrauded. Zora Neale Hurston seen polygamy in Jamaica people life. She fought for the rights of the women who lived there, she worried for all women. She wanted to see them believe in themselves, respect themselves, and do everything. Although she planned to do her work on time, she did more than she planned and began to dig deeper. Zora Neale attitude to VOODOO and religion also went further than she had planned. All the traditions and rituals were studied by her. She found her black Afro culture.