Prolly because she wrote to, for and about black women.I never paid any attention to Zora until I was forced to face her in my American literary class in college.
I don't think Zora would agree with you that she wrote "jive talking." She was not hooked into the idea of standard English as being sacrosanct, the correct and highest form of linguistics, thus, wrote the way black people of her time spoke, i.e., ebonics.She was born in 1891. I just loved her two short stories The Gilded six-bits and Sweat. These two short stories were based in part on her exploring the folklore stories of Black people in the 1930’s. Her book Mules and Men (1935) was a anthropological book of black folklore. I didn’t like reading black language that wasn’t correct English like “whuss de matter, jack” and all that other jive talking.
I beg to differ. The uprising of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of black people, led first by Toussaint and after his death, Dessalines who had no pretentions of love for white people, and not so much the religious practice of Voodoo as their wielding the flaming sword of justice, that pushed the Spanish into the sea and ran the French of ANY religion the hell out of Haiti.I was mostly attracted to Mules and Men because of its primary research done on Voodoo. I liked Voodoo because this black magic along with yellow fever got the Catholic French the hell out of Haiti.
I know the bible and Pat Robertson is no Noah.... and the people of Haiti are not cursed. I do agree, however, that Robertson's pronouncement was not an expression of God's will rather an expression of white supremacy.Pat Robertson said the people of Haiti was cursed because they made a pact with the devil to get their freedom from white slavery. Well since Noah was drunk when he cursed Ham, the expression couldn’t have been an expression of God’s will or pact but a compact with white supremacy.
No, Toussaint (Dr. King) and later, Dessalines (Malcolm) freed their people from bondage by picking up the gun and fighting the French, in some cases, man to man. I would suggest you read "The Black Jacobians" by C.L.R. James for the definitive history of the Haitian Revolution. As being the wont of black people of the times, Zora was being fanciful.Any way from her book Dust tracks on a road (1942) she admits she went under ceremonies to Voodoo priests. One was lying naked on a couch for three days. “In another ceremony, I had to sit at the crossroads at midnight in complete darkness and meet the devil, and make a compact”. All I could say was wow. Is this what Toussaint did to free his peoples from bondage? Hey, By any means necessary.
Thank you for quoting SOMETHING I can agree with West on for the first time.The first time I read Zora name was in Cornel west Book Race Matters. West had said: “Republican Party allegiance of letters, Zora Neale Hurston, are often overlooked by her contemporary feminist followers” (Race First p.74). Six years before her death Hurston attacked the Supreme court’s ruling on school desegregation. She argued that pressure for integration denied the value of existing black institutions. People took this the wrong way.
That is not my understanding of the woman I've come to admire greatly. My understanding is precisely what West wrote, i.e., the "pressure for integration denied the value of existing black institutions." As a sterling example of what an all-black school with all black teachers in an all-black town could produce, Zora Neale Hurston was never of the opinion that black children had to be seated next to white children to learn; indeed, she felt it was better in racist America with its racist white teachers and schoolbooks, for black children to educated in a crucible of blackness by people who looked like them, loved them, nurtured their intelligence and self-esteem, and would tell the history right!Zora grew up in a all black town of Eastoville, Florida where her father was mayor. I guess Zora didn’t want to see black people integrated out of power.
Her books neither contradict her politics nor the politics of her time. Indeed, they are a reflection of both.The teachers will have you read her stories first before they will talk about the politics of her time, so that it will not spoil the fun of her exciting stories.
She also wrote that she was not "tragically Negro" (in reference to the white "socialist's imagination" of the "po' black people" of her time), adding something about her just sitting there, sharpening her (sugar cane) knife..... Hurston wrote of black life at the turn of the 20th century, and in putting our truth to paper, reminded us that we, as a people, were under siege and on a moment's notice, should be prepared for attack.Zora simply wrote: “I don’t attempt to solve any problem (in a novel). I know I can’t straighten out with a few pen strokes what God and men took centuries to mess up. So I tried to deal with life as we actually live it, not as socialist imagine it”.
What vision, dream and/or plan did the male authors of the Harlem Renaissance write.... or try to bring into existence? They, like Hurston, were writers, not revolutionaries or even black "leaders." Their responsibility as penners of the black existence of the 1920's was to INSPIRE the latter, not take on their jobs. Do not expect more of female Zora than of male Paul Lawrence Dunbar, et al, whose works are still quoted by blacks, the media, and in the history books. In fact, the question should be: Why are the black male writers of the Harlem Renaissance who wrote of the "tragic Negro" (e.g., Richard Wright's "Bigger Thomas") well-known, and not Zora Neale Hurston who wrote of "sharpening her (sugar cane) knife?"So if a vision, dream and a plan comes for a better day don’t write it or try to bring it in existence?
Only those who exhibit black self-hate, are reading comprehension-challenged, and/or are ashamed of black people and black life.Some have accused Hurston’s work of portraying blacks as minstrel characters.
Adding: Richard Wright whose books were of the "tragically Negro" genre and as soon as he could find one who'd have him, married a becky.Richard Wright condemned Their eyes were watching God (1937) for not having a theme, no message, no thought. Its addressed to whites not blacks. A minstrel show that makes whites laugh. It panders to whites and presents blacks as oversimplified southern experience.
Please provide a link to such a quote by Hurston. I find it hard to believe she'd regret writing one of the most powerful books illuminating black life, thought and attitudes of that time and even today, ever written.Zora later regretted writing the novel. We are not simple people who just sing and dance.
As did, and does, many who write books for a living. Although, one who thinks for themselves might wonder why, if she wrote books as "exciting" as you judged them, that taken together as a whole one would call them a "Minstrel Show," why her name isn't remembered, a household name .... like Steppin' Fettchit? Or even the more recent black minstrels, "Amos 'n Andy?"Zora died in 1960 broke.
If it wasn’t for Alice Walker author of The Color Purple (1982). Walker found her gravesite and wrote an article about her in a white magazine in 1975 and revived interest in her works. If Black females can only get a Oscar for making the Blackman into a Monster then I keep focusing my attention on The Isis Papers.
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