A Place between Home
Hurston, who claimed to have been born in 1901, but
whose records show her birth year as a decade earlier,
most certainly lived through the race riots and other
atrocities of her time. However, she does not mention
even one unpleasant racial incident in Dust Tracks on a
Road. The southern air around her most assuredly crack-
led with the flames of the Ku Klux Klan raiders but
Ms. Hurston does not allude to any ugly incident.
IN THE OPENING PAGES of her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, Zora Neale Hurston writes, “I was born in a Negro town. I do not mean by that the black back-side of an average town. Eatonville, Florida, is, and was at the time of my birth, a pure Negro town—charter, mayor, council, town marshal and all. It was not the first Negro community in America, but it was the first to be incorporated, the first attempt at organized self-government on the part of Negroes in America.”2 Hurston's Eatonville was a place where families lived, worked, played, fought, prayed, and loved. It was a corner of the world constructed upon an intricate web of complex relationships, a part of the New South but one with an inner cultural logic of its own. This world comes to life in the pages of Hurston's books, which are filled with effervescent language, humor, and great depth of feeling. The race riots, lynchings, and desperation that partly characterized this time and
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Publication information: Book title: Zora Neale Hurston and a History of Southern Life. Contributors: Tiffany Ruby Patterson - Author. Publisher: Temple University Press. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 50.
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