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SSU professor to give presentation on notable american author

PORTSMOUTH — 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.

Kunkle’s presentation will involve excerpts from a PBS documentary about Hurston, one brief excerpt from folklore that Hurston wrote and sang and a slide show.

Hurston is 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 and 30s.

Hurston grew 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 book’s heroine.

Hurston attended college at Barnhart College and was the only African-American that was attending the school at the time.

“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.