Zora Neale Hurston’s

Week Ten

  • Read: Zora Neale Hurston’s The Complete Stories
  • Post: “African Americana” Project (initial project due by Thursday, 11:59 p.m., three responses due by Sunday, 11:59 p.m.) (40 points)
  • Complete: Hurston Wrap Up (10 points)


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This project is a chance for you to consider Zora Neale Hurston in light of another African American’s life and achievements (and learn a little bit more about Hurston too). I’d like you to do the following:

  • Read the author information on Zora Neale Hurston, then follow the links or Google her (or both) to find and read at least two web biographies not on Wikipedia about this writer.
  • Pick a contemporary (meaning she’s alive now) African American woman from the realm of politics, art, literature, music, sports, or any other facet of public life.
  • Google her to find some biographical information on her.
  • Be sure to copy and paste the links to all websites you access so you can reference them in your posting.
  • Write a two page minimum (double spaced) paper that compares the two African American women’s place in and acceptance by society that includes this information:
    • Give the name of your chosen contemporary figure and share some biographical information.
    • Include the sources of the information you present.
    • Your biography need not be long or overly detailed. Just give us an idea of who this person is.
    • Be sure to put quotation marks around and source information after any material you copy directly from the web. Not to do so is plagiarism and will get you a big fat zero on this project.
    • Based on what you’ve read about Zora Neale Hurston, compare her career with that of the contemporary person you’ve just introduced us to. Are there any similarities between how Hurston represented herself and lived her life as an African American woman, and how your person does these things? What are the differences?
    • Finally, how do you see life has changed for African American women who are in the public eye?


Post your project in the “African Americana” forum, giving it a title that gives a sense of what you’ve got to say and names the woman you chose.

Give everyone else a chance to post projects. Then, respond to at least two other projects (ideally, one about the same person you wrote about and one about a different person, though this may not be possible), and respond to at least one other response to your project. If there are no responses to your project to comment on, your third response may be to another project.

The goal here is to actively and productively engage with your classmates, so be friendly, encouraging, provocative, questioning, even challenging, but strive not to be confrontational or offensive. Enjoy the discussion!




  • Compare and contrast Hurston’s portrayal of women’s place in the communities she writes about with Cather’s portrayals in My Antonia. Are there any similarities?
  • What was your favorite (or least hated!) Hurston story? What was it about the story that appealed to you?
  • This is a two part question! Hurston is the first writer of color we’ve read in this class. Did you feel that a consciousness of race influenced Hurston’s writing? Where did you see that, or where did you expect to see it and didn’t?


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