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FEBRUARY 2013

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

 

Zora Neale Hurston’s 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was received with much criticism and mixed reviews. In this work of art, Ms. Hurston wrote in a dialect of African~Americans of her day, foregoing Academia’s strict usage of “proper” literary English. As an anthropologist, she attempted to portray the speech patterns of the ethnic culture prominent in that era, bringing to life characters that were both relatable to Black people living in small, rural America as well as shunned by elitist African~Americans. Criticism arose from those who felt that Ms. Hurston’s ethnic dialogues were exploitative of Blacks and therefore deemed unacceptable. Yet, it was only post~humously, through a revival of her works by means of the first African~American Woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, gifted author, poet and activist, Alice Walker. {The Color Purple, 1983} that Ms. Hurston’s usage of this vernacular was lauded and embraced as a part of African~American heritage. {Read Ms. Walker’s forward to Robert Hemenway’s book, Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography [University of Illinois Press, 1977.] :

 

We are a people. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children, and, if necessary, bone by bone.”

 

            It is with this thought in mind that Casa Zia Production has chosen to highlight Zora Neale Hurston as well as other celebrated authors who have made it their collective duty to preserve such rich cultural genres both to remind us of the African~American literary legacy and to inspire new generations of writers. One such newcomer is author Daniel Black {Twelve Gates To The City, 2011, Perfect Peace, 2010, The Sacred Place, 2008, They Tell Me of a Home, 2006} . A proliferate writer, Mr. Black pens stories revolved around small rural towns with characters to whom he breathes life through the depths of their development and the usage of their “colorful, ethnic” language. In your awareness of Black History Month why not read more of these authors’ works as well as discover some of your very own! Their legacy, and yours, awaits!

 

http://zoranealehurston.com/

 

http://alicewalkersgarden.com/about-2/

 

http://danielblack.org/




Author, Poet, Jeri L.M.S. Guyette and Author, Daniel Black

 

 

Casa Zia Productions

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