African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Zora Neale Hurston (Author Page)

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. She followed a somewhat unusual path to her literary career, working in a number of service jobs before completing a high school degree via the high school academy at Morgan State University in Maryland. Between 1918 and 1924 she was affiliated with Howard University. In 1921, the published her first short story, "John Redding Goes to Sea" in The Stylus. In 1924, Hurston received a scholarship to study at Barnard, and relocated to New York City. 

Other than publishing a small number of poems in Negro World, Hurston largely published works of fiction as well as drama and non-fiction. Her most famous novels, including Their Eyes Were Watching God, appeared in the 1930s, but she was already quite active through the 1920s, mainly writing short stories and one-act plays (and even a small amount of poetry -- all of it published in 1922).
Hurston's first short story, "John Redding Goes to Sea," was published in 1921 in The Stylus, Alain Locke's literary magazine (associated with Howard University). Hurston published several poems in the UNIA's newspaper, Negro World, in 1922, which we are in the process of locating and digitizing. 

Hurston's short story, "Spunk," appeared in the groundbreaking anthology edited by Alain Locke, The New Negro: an Interpretation. 

In 1926, she was part of a distinguished group of younger writers who contributed to Fire!!; her one-act play, "Color Struck," won second prize in the Opportunity Magazine contest for 1926. Fire!! also included her short story, "Sweat."

Here are some of the materials published by Hurston in the 1920s; our goal here is to digitize as much of it as we can find. 

"John Redding Goes to Sea" (The Stylus, 1921), short story
"Journey's End" (Negro World, 1922), poetry
"Night" (Negro World, 1922), poetry
"Passion" (Negro World, 1922), poetry
"Reveries" (Negro World, 1922), poetry
"Drenched in Light" (Opportunity, 1924), short story
"Spunk" (The New Negro: an Interpretation, 1925), short story
"Color Struck" (Fire!!, 1926), play
"Sweat" (Fire!!, 1926), short story
"Muttsy" (Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life) 1926, short story.
"How It Feels to Be Colored Me" (1928), essay

(A full Bibliography of Hurston's writings in this period can be found at the University of Central Florida's Zora Neale Hurston Digital Archive here.)

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