Zora Neale Hurston Timeline
Timeline Description: Zora Neale Hurston (born January 7, 1891) was one of the pre-eminent African American writers of the 20th century. In addition, Hurston was a noted folklorist and researcher, studying Obeah in Jamaica, and publishing her research.

Date Event
January 7, 1891 Zora Neale Hurston Was Born

Zora Neale Hurston is born in Notasulga, Alabama. She is the fifth of eight children born to John and Lucy Potts Hurston.
1892 Family Moved to Eatonville

In 1892, the family moved to Eatonville. Eatonville, located north of Orlando, Florida, was a self-governing, all-African American town.
1904 Death of Lucy Potts Hurston

In 1904, Hurston's mother died. Her father remarried a very young woman soon after and Zora Neale Hurston strongly disliked her stepmother.
1917 Hurston Enrolled in High School

In 1917, at 26, Zora Neale Hurston lied about her age, claiming to have been born in 1901, to gain admission to high school. She maintained the lie about her age throughout her life.
1919 Enrolled at Howard University

After graduating high school in 1918, Hurston enrolled in Howard University in Washington D.C., completing her associates degree in 1920.
1921 Published "John Redding Goes to Sea"

Zora Neale Hurston's first short story was published in a literary magazine at Howard University in 1921.
December 1924 Published "Drenched in Light"

In December 1924, the short story, "Drenched in Light", was published in the literary journal Opportunity.
1925 Transferred to Barnard College

Hurston transferred from Howard University to Barnard College in 1925.
1926 Visited Harlem

Hurston's first visit to Harlem came in 1926. The vibrant neighborhood and rich cultural revival of the Harlem Renaissance provided new opportunities for Hurston.
1930 Disagreement with Langston Hughes(1930 to 1931)

After working together on a play, Zora Neale Hurston had a falling out with noted poet and playwright Langston Hughes. Both regretted the disagreement.
January 10, 1932 "The Great Day" Premiered on Broadway

Hurston's musical, "The Great Day" premiered on Broadway in 1932. She was rapidly gaining stature, both in the African American community and outside it. The play was well-received, but performed only once, leaving her with substantial debt.
May 1934 Jonah's Gourd Vine Published

In May 1934, Hurston published her first full-length novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine. She would complete four novels in her lifetime, but publish a large number of short stories and non-fiction pieces.
1936 Guggenheim Fellowship

In 1936, Hurston was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study Obeah in Jamaica. She published the results of her study upon her return, as Tell My Horse.
1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God Published

Hurston's best-known novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was written in only seven weeks while she was studying religion in Haiti.
1939 Federal Writers' Project

In 1939, Hurston began recording African-American experiences in Florida as part of the Federal Writers' Project. This was part of Roosevelt's New Deal.
1942 Dust Tracks on a Road Published

Hurston's 1942 memoir, Dust Tracks on a Road, was published to critical acclaim, particularly for its take on race relations.
1952 Hurston Worked as a Journalist(1952 to 1959)

Between 1952 and 1959, Hurston worked primarily as a reporter and newspaper columnist.
January 28, 1960 Death of Zora Neale Hurston

Following a stroke in late 1959, Zora Neale Hurston died penniless and alone in a nursing home facility run by the state. She was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1973, writer Alice Walker located her grave and purchased a headstone for it.