February 26, 2010
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
Shawnee State University Professor to Give Presentation on Notable
As part of Women’s History Month at Shawnee State
University, Professor Barbara Kunkle will present a
multi-media presentation called “Zora! The Extraordinary
Life of Zora Neale Hurston” at noon on Wednesday, March 3 in
the University Center, Room 215.
presentation will involve excerpts from a PBS documentary
about Hurston, one brief excerpt from folklore that Hurston
wrote and sang and a slide show.
the author of “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” among other
works. She contributed to the WPA Guide to Florida and
recorded songs and stories along Florida’s Gulf Coast. She
was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s
up in Eatonville, Fla., the first incorporated all-black
township in America and this was the setting for her book,
“Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The story unfolds with the
women of Eatonville gossiping about Janie Crawford, the
attended college at Barnhart College and was the only
African-American that was attending the school at the time.
Hurston wrote several books and participated in valuable
community projects for the WPA, she died in poverty and was
buried in an unmarked grave in 1960. In 1975, another black
woman writer, Alice Walker, published an article in Ms.
Magazine about Hurston and launched a Hurston revival.
Today, she has reached a status as a great American writer
and her books are read now more than they were in her
“I think that
honoring her legacy is a good thing to do, but the subjects
of both her folklore and literacy output are especially
appropriate today because they grew out of the era of the
great depression,” Kunkle said.
The event is
free and open to the public.