Dust Tracks on a Road

Dust Tracks on a Road

P.S. Insights and Interviews

Zora Hurston’s Story

p>Here is a thumping story, though it has none of the horrid earmarks of the Alger-type climb. Zora Neale Hurston has a considerable reputation as anthropologist and writer. When her autobiography begins she is one of eight children in a Negro family with small prospects of making a name for herself. Yet her story is forthright and without frills. Its emphasis lies on her fighting spirit in the struggle to achieve the education she felt she had to have. The uses to which it was put - good uses too - were the fruit of things that cropped up spontaneously, demanding to be done.

Hard work and natural talent were her mainstays. Bad luck and good came in mixed portions. But always Zora Neale Hurston felt that she was a special, a different sort of person - not in any unpleasantly cocky way, but as almost anyone does who has energy and ability and wants to use them...

Her whole story is live and vivid. Told in gutsy language, it is full of the graphic metaphors and similes that color Negro speech at its richest, sometimes in direct quotations from folk stories - those lying sessions at the village store - and sometimes woven in with her own warm style. There is no "hush-mouth modesty" about the book, for Zora Neale Hurston would not "low-rate the human race" by undue expurgation of her story...

Further along there are philosophical chapters on books (the Hurston books), love, "My People!" and religion. Then impression simmers down to a feeling that the author regards the Negro race much as she regards any other race - as made up of some, some bad, and a lot of medium. The problems they face are those of any other race, with the disadvantage of being a younger lot. Anyway, her story is an encouraging and enjoyable one for any member of the human race. Any race might well be proud to have more members of the caliber and stamina of Zora Neale Hurston.

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