52 in 52 Week 4: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The burning of her [Estby's] manuscript recalls how close the writings of others, such as African-American author Zora Neal Hurston, came to being destroyed. Destitute and no longer acclaimed in her old age, Hurston was considered of “little worth” at her death. When county workers came to clean out her house, they started to burn the clutter. One recalled that Zora was once a respected writer and, hoping there might be something of worth to augment county expenses, hosed down the fire just in time to recover her charred papers.
It took more than fifty years and a seismic shift in appreciating the worth of African-American women writers before her acclaimed book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was republished. Her writings proved pivotal for inspiring the next generation of African-American women writers, such as Alice Walker. Only recently, with the growing publications of multicultural stories available in schools and libraries, are all children in America able to read about the lives of others with their same ethnic heritage.
Hunt, Linda Lawrence (2007-12-18). Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America (Kindle Locations 2558-2565). Anchor. Kindle Edition.