YOU MAY BE ASKING YOURSELF,
WHO IS ZORA NEALE HURSTON?
Born in January 7, 1891, Zora Neale Hurston was raised on land with chinaberry and guava trees, “five lakes, three croquet courts, two schools, no jailhouse, 300 brown skins, and 300 good swimmers,” in the small town of Eatonville, Fl, best known as the first self-governed (incorporated) negro town in America.
For the first thirteen years of Zora’s life, she knew nothing other than a world with unlimited possibilities. She was especially astute being born fifth in a household of eight children. Zora “rough-housed” with her brothers and other boys in the neighborhood, while her only sister, Sarah, was more diminutive in spirit. Her father, John, became the mayor and was also a preacher in town. Her mother, Lucy, was mystical, loving, and extremely intelligent. She raised Zora with the same sensibilities, and as an educator, influenced Zora’s hunger for knowledge.
Zora’s road of trials began when her mother passed away when she was only thirteen years old. She quickly learned the rest of the world was hardly Eatonville. It was magical, dangerous, and unfair at times. But the race is given to the one who can endure while being themselves. Zora didn’t know how to be anything else. No matter how difficult her journey became, Zora never stopped moving forward with her education, literary and anthropological work. And that’s why she’s a living ancestor.
Zora wrote nearly 100 plays, stories, articles, and books. Thousands of essays, art, dissertations are written about here. There are over 3 million search results for her name.
She lived for 69 years. She’s been gone almost 60 years, yet her words are more relevant now than ever.
Desperate for an education, she took a job traveling with a Gilbert & Sullivan opera troupe. While enduring sickness and dead-end jobs, she changed her age in order to attend school. After finishing prep school at now Morgan state in Baltimore, Zora attended Howard University, then later became the first black woman to attend Barnard university. She studied under famous anthropologist, Franz Boas.
Using her infectious spirit and science, orally collected folklore and studied several indigenous religions and dialects in New Orleans, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, as well as several towns in Florida and other states. She initiated and became a hoodoo practitioner named Rain-Bringer.
She interviewed and took footage of Kossula Lewis, the last enslaved man brought from Africa, well after emancipation…. and this isn’t even the half of it. The best link to her chronology is here:
In this piece, her words lend themselves to cancel culture, #metoo, the myth of race solidarity, the importance of voting, jazz, Harlem, and the “great migration,” as well as a dive into spirituality.
I believe if Zora were here today, she would want people to stop saying, she died penniless. She died proud. She was loved. She was private. She was accomplished. She never stopped trying. She worked through limitations, poverty, sickness, rejection, and loneliness. She saw other spectrums of light and afterworlds. She told her truth even when it wasn’t flattering… even when it was painful. She pushed through. She is my mamba. There is no shortage of Zora productions. But there is nothing like this.
iMATTER is an innovative multimedia feature-length, film that integrates vibrant 3d cinematography, animation, and historical footage. Zora returns in a creative “virtual world” called the “appmosphere” where all beings in the entire universe gather.
The film is accompanied by a workbook filled with history, perspective, quizzes, and games, featuring contributors from all over the globe.