Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS

American Masters presents Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun

 Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston

Airs Monday, February 22, 2010 at 10 p.m.

Writer and cultural anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston was successful in many areas, yet her words and conclusions were often surrounded by contention. “American Masters” ‘ presentation of “Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun” tells of her life, which included being the daughter of a former slave, a chronicler of folk roots and ethnic traditions and the first black graduate of Barnard College. Actor S. Epatha Merkerson of television series “Law & Order” narrates.

A flamboyant and gregarious woman, she was considered to be bodacious and unpredictable. Hurston collaborated with author Langston Hughes, was criticized by poet Richard Wright and ultimately died a pauper’s death in total obscurity. Resurrected by writer Alice Walker, who journeyed to Hurston’s gravesite in 1975 after reading a dog-eared copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston is now considered a lioness of African-American literature. Her works "Dust Tracks on a Road" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" are essential reading in American classrooms today.