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How Zora Neale Hurston Got Her Start As A Storyteller

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Zora Neale Hurston was more than a novelist and bright voice of the Harlem Renaissance--she was also an anthropologist and folklorist. She made a name for herself in New York and the Caribbean--and also spent formative years in Baltimore.

David Taylor says Hurston was creative and brave; he wrote about her in Soul of a People, his chronicle of the Federal Writers’ Project during the Depression.

Then Anokwale Anansesemfo, president of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland, says Hurston’s spirit was formed in the African American town in East Florida where her father was mayor.

David Taylor will speak to the Smithsonian Associates about "Creativity in Dark Times: Artists and Writers of the New Deal" on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:45 p.m. Information and registration here.

At Taylor's website, there's information about the documentary film Soul of a People: Writing America's Story, as well as the book he wrote about the Federal Writers' Project. You can also check out a short film funded by the Maryland Humanities Council, which recounts Zora Neale Hurston's formative years in Baltimore--Spark Media presents When Life Meets Art: Zora Neale Hurston in Maryland

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.