And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print
And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print
And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print
And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print
And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print
And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print

And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston print

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Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891 in Eatonville, Florida. Eatonville was one of the first towns in the United States founded by Black citizens. Zora’s father was a minister who served three terms as Eatonville’s mayor. Zora attended the town’s school, where she studied the teachings of Booker T. Washington. She was greatly influenced by the philosophy that education, hard work, and perseverance could improve the lives of Black Americans.

Zora’s mother died in 1904. Her father remarried and sent her to live with relatives. Frustrated by her situation, Zora took a job as a maid for a musical theater troupe in 1916. She traveled the country, learned about theater, and continued her studies by borrowing books from the performers. 

After eighteen months of life on the road, Zora quit her job to finish high school in Baltimore. She then enrolled at Howard University, one of the most famous Black colleges in the country. Life at Howard was about more than attending class. Zora was an active participant in campus life. She helped publish the inaugural issue of the school newspaper in 1924 and joined the Howard literary club. Her first two short stories were published in the club’s magazine, The Stylus. Money was a frequent concern for Zora, who paid for school by working as a manicurist at night.

Zora’s big break came in 1925. Opportunity, a Harlem-based magazine, presented her with a literary award for her short story “Spunk.” Zora was thrown into the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. She left Howard University and moved to Harlem. She quickly built a network of colleagues and supporters who recognized her name from Opportunity. That network helped her earn a scholarship to study English and Anthropology at women-only Barnard College. At Barnard, Zora studied under famous anthropologist Franz Boas. Boas encouraged Zora to pursue her interest in African American culture and folklore. Her early fieldwork in Harlem opened doors to travel.

Zora’s creative efforts mirrored her academic studies. She embodied the Harlem Renaissance. She was creative, educated, energetic, and committed to celebrating Black culture. In 1926, she collaborated with other writers to start a magazine called Fire! Some people criticized the magazine for downplaying white supremacy. But Zora and her colleagues felt that there needed to be a place for Black Americans to celebrate their culture without fear. 

In 1927, Zora met Charlotte Osgood Mason, a white philanthropist who offered to fund Zora’s work. Zora used the funds to plan an elaborate road trip through the American South. During her travels, she conducted interviews, recorded folklore, and collected objects of cultural significance. She spent the spring and summer in Florida. Then she traveled to Alabama to interview the last known living man to be born in Africa and enslaved in America. 

While in Alabama, Zora ran into friend and Harlem Renaissance luminary Langston Hughes. Langston and Zora traveled back to New York together, stopping at several cities along the way. They visited the Tuskegee Institute, which was founded by Booker T. Washington. Then, they took a detour to Macon, Georgia, to see Bessie Smith, the “Empress of the Blues,” perform. That evening, they ran into her in their hotel and spent the evening swapping stories of life on the road. 

Zora knew that traveling as a single Black woman in the American South was risky. But she considered the South, particularly Florida, her true home, and did not allow her fear to deter her. She felt that her research was too important to give up. Someone needed to document the Black experience for the future. 

Using funds from her patron, Zora traveled to Florida and New Orleans to continue her studies in 1928. That same year she earned her undergraduate degree from Barnard.

And the moon breaks the heart of the ocean. Nora Neale Hurston

Make a statement in any room with this framed poster, printed on thick matte paper. The matte black frame that's made from wood from renewable forests adds an extra touch of class.

• Ayous wood .75″ (1.9 cm) thick frame from renewable forests
• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil (0.26 mm)
• Paper weight: 5.57 oz/y² (189 g/m²)
• Lightweight
• Acrylite front protector
• Hanging hardware included
• Blank product components in the US sourced from Japan and the US
• Blank product components in the EU sourced from Japan and Latvia

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