“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.”
Who is this woman that influenced such women as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison?
Born to two former slaves in 1881 in Alabama but her her family moved to Florida when she was a toddler. Eatonville, Florida was the first fully black community. Growing up Zora didn’t have the discrimination that other African American communities experienced. This allowed Zora to have a lovely childhood and become a high achiever.
As a writer she became an active member in the Harlem art community in the 1920’s. Her confident and pleasant demeanor drew many to her. Zora worked odd jobs in order to get a degree in Anthropology in the mid 1930’s. Her major contribution to history was her collection of accounts of stories of the lives of former slaves. She used these stories as the basis for her memorable books. Likewise, if it wasn’t for her recording the stories they may have been lost forever.
To learn more about this amazing woman take a look at this books:
- Wrapped in Rainbows. This was a woman’s lives book club read that I totally intended to read but life got in the way and now it is sitting on my to read shelf.
- Song of Solomon A coming of age story about a man named Milkman Dead by Toni Morrison.
- Their Eyes were Watching God One of Zora’s novels. It was not considered to be acclaimed in her life time but now it is considered to be one of the great novels of the 20th century.