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Informative Speech Zora Neal Hurston


I’m sure many of you have heard of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, but do you know who was a major influence in these writers lives? It was a woman by the name of Zora Neal Hurston. She was a very talented novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist who has recently been reintroduced to the literary world.

Lets begin by looking at some of her background information.


I. Background

a. Zora Neal Hurston was born on January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama.
b. When she was 3 her family moved to Eatonville, Florida.
1. According to Women in History, this town is unique in that it
was the first incorporated black community in America.
2. Eatonville would become the muse of her stories about a place
African Americans could live independent of white societies rule.

Upon adulthood Hurston began her undergraduate studies at Howard University, but left after not being able to support herself.

II. College

a. She was later offered a scholarship to Bernard College where she received a B.A. in anthropology.

The 1930's and late 40's marked the peak of Hurstons career.

III. Zora's career
a. Zora Neal Hurston's technique of combining literature with anthropology, led her to
become a driving force in the Harlem Renaissance.
b. She first gained attention with her short stories "John Redding Goes to Sea" and "Spunk".
c. After several years of anthropological research Hurston's first novel, "Jonah's
Gourd", as well as her second, "Mules and Men", were published with critical success.
d. The novel that gained her the most success was "Their Eyes Were Watching God".

After only a couple more successful novels Hurston's literary influence faded.

IV. Fall of Hurston's Career
a. During the Post WWII era of the civil rights movement the issue of racism
of whites against blacks became a theme among African American writers.
b. The fact that Zora didn't address racism in her stories tarnished her...

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Category:   Speeches

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