This February here at Arts Every Day we want to make space to acknowledge the great artists who have either come from Baltimore or have had ties to this great city. Baltimore has a very rich Black artistic and cultural history which is why, each week, you will hear from our Schools Program Manager, Michelle Duberry, who will be sharing short stories that honor and celebrate these figures who have paved and continue to pave the way for Black artists.
Zora Neale Hurston ( Jan.7, 1891-Jan. 28th 1960) Was a giant figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She is known for her short stories and her most well known work, ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’. Not only was she a prolific writer but she was also an anthropologist and filmmaker. Her writing was a celebration of the lives of everyday Black folk in the South. It is her voice that will inspire the next generation of Black women writers like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker who regarded her as a foremother.
While she was born in Notasulga, Alabama and grew up in Eatonville Florida. But She also had ties to Baltimore. During her time here She attended Morgan State University, from 1917 till 1918. At the time it was called Morgan Academy. During her time at Morgan she writes that she was “snubbed by the well dressed students at Morgan”, but also that “My two years at Morgan went off happily indeed. The atmosphere made me feel right. Every new thing I learned made me happy”. May we always remember and celebrate the invaluable contributions of Zora Neale Hurston.