Inspiration: Zora Neale Hurston


I first read Their Eyes Were Watching God in college, sadly not in a english class but rather a course on the racial divide in American. I loved this book and how potent it was to mark the life of a young woman and her struggles in the south. I choose Zora as an inspiration because she was one of the great authors to come out of the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was certainly a great contemporary with Vicious Circle. While she lived mostly in New Jersey & Florida, it was in Jersey she had befriended and became neighbors with Langston Hughes.

Hurston’s work gained notoriety at and early age. She would become apart of the Harlem Renaissance when she moved to New York City in 1925. Her work was a complete contrast to that of her male contemporaries. The men who were apart of this movement, were outspoken about the genre of Fiction. Hurston embraced the genre of Fiction, it allowed her to develop deeply complex and powerful female figures in her writings. 

Sadly towards the tail end of her life, Hurston was plagued by bad luck. In the 40’s she had rented a room from a woman in New York City. After Hurston moved out of the room, the woman had contacted police and reported that Zora had rapped her 10 year old son. The police sadly did not keep the charges under wrap until an investigation was done to bring formal charges to Zora. The media caught wind of the report and Huston’s public image was completely destroyed. Within a day of the charge being lodged, Zora had provided the police with proof that she was out of the country when the rape occurred. Zora would live the rest of her life in seclusion and earn her living from teaching. She continue to write but the damage from the false-rape story, prevented her work from shinning on it owns.