Zora Neale Hurston Across Time: A Guide for Students K-12

This guide is intended for youth in grades K-12 and their caregivers to introduce works which chronicle Zora Neale Hurston's life and her contributions to literature, anthropology, and popular culture.

Books about Zora

Zora's Life in Photos

Zora Hurston, half-length portrait, standing, facing slightly left, beating the hountar, or mama drum.

Zora Hurston, half-length portrait, standing, facing slightly left, beating the hountar, or mama drum., 1937. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Zora Neale Hurston and an unidentified man probably at a recording site, Belle Glade, Florida.

Zora Neale Hurston and an unidentified man probably at a recording site, Belle Glade, Florida. Florida Belle Glade, 1935. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Zora Neale Hurston, probably at a recording site in Belle Glade, Florida.

Zora Neale Hurston, probably at a recording site in Belle Glade, Florida. United States Florida Belle Glade, 1935. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Zora Neale Hurston and three boys in Eatonville, Florida.

Zora Neale Hurston and three boys in Eatonville, Florida. United States Florida Eatonville, 1935. June. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Who was Zora Neale Hurston?

Photograph shows Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), an African American, female author, anthropologist, playwright, and filmmaker, who was active in the Harlem Renaissance, in front of patterned backdrop.

Van Vechten, Carl, photographer. Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston. , 1938. Apr. 3. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004663047/.

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, researcher, performer, reporter, folklorist, ethnographer, instructor, filmmaker, playwright, and a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama, on January 7, 1891. In 1894, Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida at the age of three and lived her childhood there. Often considering Eatonville home, Zora Neale Hurston used the town as the setting for many of her works.

Zora Neale Hurston: The Storyteller and Her Town

Eatonville Branch Library

Photo of the Eatonville Branch Library's exterior.

The Eatonville Branch Library is located in the Town of Eatonville’s Zora Neale Hurston Square. Eatonville is known as the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States. Opened January 2005, the Branch honors the legacy of Eatonville resident Zora Neale Hurston.

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum

 

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum logo

 

For 26 years, the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum has provided gallery space for artists of African descent and diaspora. The Hurston is sponsored by the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.), which continues the history and culture of Eatonville.

Youth Projects Coordinator

ZORA! Festival

ZORA! Festival logo

The ZORA! Festival is a multi-day, multi-disciplinary, intergenerational event composed of public talks, museum exhibitions, theatrical productions, arts education programming, and a 3-day Outdoor Festival of the Arts. Events takes place primarily in Eatonville and throughout Orange County.

Online Resources

Life Story: Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) - Biography, discussion questions, and suggested activities related to Hurston's life and works by the New York Historical Society.

Zora Neale Hurston Digital Archive - A repository of biographical, critical, and contextual materials related to Hurston's life and work, created by the University of Central Florida.

Zora Neale Hurston Papers - Digitized collection of manuscripts, documents, and photos from Hurston's life from the University of Florida.

Zora Neale Hurston and the WPA in Florida - Resource with materials from the State Library and Archives of Florida and the Library of Congress detailing Hurston's work with the Federal Writers’ Project.

Zora Neale Hurston: Her Eyes Were Watching God (2014)

  • Professor Cheryl Wall discusses Hurston’s works in ethnography and literature at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

A Celebration of Zora Neale Hurston - 92nd Street Y, New York (2020)

The Lost Years of Zora Neale Hurston - Florida Historical Society (2016)

The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston (Part 1) - Public Broadcast Center (2007)

Zora Neale Hurston - Fieldwork (1928)

  • Footage shot by Zora Neale Hurston. The video features audio of her speaking and singing voice.

Federal Writers' Project Recordings

  • Playlist of recordings taken by and of Hurston during her anthropological research across Florida in the 1930s.

Wait Five Minutes: The Floridian Podcast

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