This makes for a nice introduction to who Zora was and what made her tick. She certainly was not a shrinking violet. In a time when it was almost unheard of Zora, a double minority in the US, was opinionated, stubborn, and extremely independent. Zora was not at all liked by her father, and when he remarries after her mom's death, the step-mother makes it her business to drive each of the Hurston children away from their childhood home. With the help of friends and colleagues she meets along the way, Zora goes to school and becomes the African-American woman to graduate from Barnard. Her experiences in her anthropological studies of African folklore inspires her to write stories of her own. Some are well received, others are not. Those that are published are edited in a way as to not offend the white reader, causing black readers to get angry at Zora for not fully detailing the African-American experience, struggles, and anger.
What was really sad for me to discover is that despite breaking so many barriers for the African-Americans and for the women of the U.S., Zora pretty much died a destitute woman. She never gained a lot of wealth and never settled enough to find peace and stability. But she did not go out without a good fight, or without throwing some good knocks of her own!