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Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week, which was established in February 1926 by African-American historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was the founder of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History. The original history week was in February to include both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthdays. In 1976, the Nation’s Bicentennial, the celebration was extended to be a month-long. For more information on Black History Month visit a week this month, we’ll feature a prominent African-American here on the blog.

Zora Neale Hurston was a prolific African-American writer and participant in the Harlem Renaissance. Perhaps best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston wrote primarily about the African-American experience and much of her work borrowed largely from her own life. Born in 1891 in a small Alabama town, Hurston spent most of her life in the African-American community of Eatonville, FL. Howard attended several colleges including Howard University, Columbia University and Barnard College, where she studied anthropology. She graduated from Barnard as the only African-American student in 1928. Hurston wrote plays, essays, poetry, short stories, and novels, but all of her writing was based on folklore. Hurston’s full length works included the aforementioned Their Eyes Were Watching GodMules and Men, Tell My Horse, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, Moses, Man of the Mountain, Seraph on the Suwanee and Hurston’s autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. Hurston died on January 28, 1960, in a charity home, and largely forgotten, in Fort Pierce, Florida. None of her books was still in print at the time of her death. Famous author Alice Walker (The Color Purple) was largely responsible for the rediscovery of her works.


HURSTON, ZORA NEALE (1891-1960). (2008). In Africa and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. Retrieved from

Hurston, Zora Neale. (2009). In Encyclopedia of African-American Writing. Retrieved from

HURSTON, ZORA NEALE. (2005). In Encyclopedia of Women’s Autobiography. Retrieved from

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