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• Almost a century after publishers rejected it, a book by Eatonville writer Zora Neale Hurston is finally being released. In 1931, six years before her acclaimed novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was published, Hurston made the rounds with a manuscript called Barracoon. It focused on her interview with one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. Cudjo Lewis was born in the West African country of Benin. As a teenager, he was taken prisoner and held for weeks with other captives in a barracoon – a slave pen. Eventually he and more than 100 others were sold and put on a slave ship bound for Alabama. This was 1860. The international slave trade had been illegal … Read More »
• Eatonville celebrates the life of Zora Neale Hurston this week. Zora Festival is in its 28th year, and culminates with an outdoor festival of the arts next weekend.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will be at the festival, talking about how America needs to do more to recognize the contribution of Black Americans like Hurston to the history and culture of this country. Read More »
• In celebration of the 80th anniversary of “Mules and Men’ by Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Regennia N. Williams, an independent scholar and council member of the Oral History Association (OHA) serves as the host and facilitator of the roundtable discussion on Zora Neale Hurston and African American oral tradition. Read More »
• 95 years ago, Ocoee was the site of a massacre. “RACE TROUBLE AT OCOEE CLAIMS 2 WHITE VICTIMS,” reads part of a headline from the Orlando Morning Sentinel’s Nov. 3, 1920 edition. Newspapers reported that a black man named Mose Norman became enraged when he was told he couldn’t vote because he didn’t pay his poll tax. Media accounts said he stormed the polling place with a group of angry black men, starting a massive race riot. 60 people, most of them black, were killed. Norman, meanwhile, allegedly hid in the home of a friend, who was later lynched in downtown Orlando for helping him. It wasn’t until 20 years later, when Zora Neale Hurston wrote her account of the … Read More »