Writer and American Ethnologist, born in Eatonville (Florida) in 1901, and died in 1960. The fact of having come to the world in the first North American city consisting only of people of color influenced him mightily thematic orientation which had to his literary and anthropological work.
After standing out in their studies primary and media, left his hometown to pursue his higher education at Howard, Barnard and Columbia universities. To put an end to these University studies he/she returned to Eatonville, where fought a folklorist and anthropological study on the racial heritage of the city. In those years it was uncommon for a researcher to dedicated his studies to the black race, and even stranger was that a woman the interested marginalized on American official culture here. But Zora Neale Hurston surprised the intellectual class in your country with a scientific and creative work that marked the birth of a whole generation of black writers of Harlem (of the 1930s), and played a key role in other later authors, some of them as relevant as the novelist and researcher Ralph Ellison, the poet and novelist Alice Walker, and the Nobel Prize in literature Toni Morrison.
Zora Neale Hurston worked not only with the material from the American blacks who populated his environment, but that very important field as hostile lands studied at an American woman (in those early years of the 20th century, is clear) as Haiti, Bermuda, Jamaica, Honduras and, in general, in many other countries of Central and South America. His interest in the folklore of the inhabitants of these territories led him to run Adventures not exempt certain risks, such as when he/she insisted on investigating everything related to Voodoo practiced there in Haiti since hundreds of years ago. Result of these works in Latin America is the book titled mules and men (1935), which is one of its most popular and influential among American anthropologists of this century.
But, besides their scientific essays, Zora Neale Hurston wrote several works of fiction who achieved fame as his research work. This occurred, for example, with his novels called the gourd of Jonah (1934), his eyes saw God (1937) and Seraph on the Suwanee (1948). Next to these extensive narratives, his creative work includes numerous short stories, plays and newspaper articles, to which must be added its interesting and enjoyable autobiography, titled brands of powder on the road (1942).
Its prestige as an anthropologist was such that it became a member of the selected American folklore society, American Anthropological society, American ethnological society and Zeta Phi Beta. In addition, he/she became deserving of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1936 and 1938, and received the title of doctor honoris cause in literature by the Morgan University in 1939. However, his literary work did not deserve high praise in life of the author, who died in the most shameful poverty without having received this recognition which, in the 1970s, the American literary community restored him.