Zora Neale Hurston fascinates us for many reasons, not the least of which is that she is claimed as part of LGBTQ history. As was common in that era, this basic identity was masked and hidden, and both scholars and journalists are hesitant to make the claim outright for lack of specific attribution. Nevertheless, one only needs to read her work, her hilarious portrait of men and unsparing depiction of the foibles of life as a minority to sense that this was no ordinary daughter of a Baptist minister, but an authentic and rebellious voice that rarely held back. Still it seems the one inhibition she could not overcome was revealing her own basic identity. To me, it is and has always been there, between the lines, for those who know how to parse the truth from literary obfuscation. – Larry Murray
The UAlbany Performing Arts Center and the NYS Writers Institute are pleased to present Eyes on Zora: The Life and Legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, a series of events focusing on the life and work of one of the most important and celebrated figures to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. Outspoken, spirited and gifted, Hurston (1891-1960) was an anthropologist but is more identified and well-known as a prolific writer, her books defining the black American experience. Famous for her vivacious and unapologetic personality, Hurston wrote works of fiction and folklore which drove forward both the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement.
Ushering in February’s Black History Month, public events take place beginning on Friday (January 29) in various locations both on and beyond the University at Albany campus. The schedule includes: