National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last timeā€¦ They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

Zora Neale Hurston, 1934 (Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Alice Walker: She was the only Southerner who, black Southerner, who truly loved her blackness and her Southernness. The other people sometimes felt that it wasn't quite the right thing, that people should really be speaking standard English, and it upset them. Hurston just threw all caution to the winds and said, "Gee, I like these people. I like the way they sound, and if other people think that we're ignorant and backward because we sound this way, they obviously don't know our history, and why we sound this way. And I like the people themselves, so I'm going to present them in their complexity and completeness and their fullness and their richness and their contrariness." And that's what you get.

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