Zora Neale Hurston Biography | Author of Conscience of the Court

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Although census reports indicate that Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, she claimed to be born in 1901 or 1903. The actual date remains a mystery, as does her exact burial site. In 1973, prominent African American feminist and novelist Alice Walker was determined to find Hurston's unmarked grave and provide a suitable marker. After much effort, she found the spot she believed to be Hurston's grave and mounted a headstone that reads, "A Genius of the South" (a phrase from one of Jean Toomer's poems).

Hurston was the fifth of John and Lucy Ann (Potts) Hurston's eight children. Lucy was a former teacher and seamstress who wanted her children to reach higher, to "jump at de sun." John was a handsome and popular Baptist minister, who also served as Eatonville's mayor for three terms. Eatonville was founded by and for African Americans, and this unique all-black community provided the...

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This section contains 492 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Conscience of the Court Study Guide
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Conscience of the Court from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.