I first heard about Zora Neale Hurston while taking an African American literature class back in college, and since that time have grown only more enamored with her work. Hurston was born in 1891 and spent much of her early years living in Eatonville, Florida, before departing for New York where she would become one of the more well known figures of the Harlem Renaissance Movement. Below is a short video biography of Hurston and an audio clip of Hurston’s life narrated by Vanessa Williams.
James Baldwin is remembered not only as a literary giant, but a man whose words helped advance the cause for social justice within the United States. Baldwin — who would’ve been 89 this past Friday — was remembered by a number of people for being one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. His literature continues to live on however, and his life, memory, and influence, will not soon be forgotten.