Zora Neal Hurston
January 7, 1891- January 28, 1960
"From the 1930s through the 1950s, Zora Neale Hurston was the most prolific and accomplished black woman writer in America. During that thirty-year period she published seven books, many short stories, magazine articles, and plays, and she gained a reputation as an outstanding folklorist and novelist. She called attention to herself because she insisted upon being herself at a time when blacks were being urged to assimilate in an effort to promote better relations between the races. Hurston, however, saw nothing wrong with being black: "I do not belong to that sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal." Indeed she felt there was something so special about her blackness that others could benefit just by being around her. Her works, then, may be seen as manifestos of selfhood, as affirmations of blackness and the positive aspects of black life. "
From Gale publishing: http://www.galegroup.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/hurston_z.htm
For more information: http://www.zoranealehurston.com/