NVCC is proud to announce this year's Commencement Speaker will be Lucy Anne Hurston, the niece of literary luminary and Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, and author of Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.
Though only three years old when Zora died in relative obscurity, Ms. Hurston has, over her lifetime, compiled a detailed knowledge of her aunt's life and work with a historian's observant eye.
Zora Neale Hurston was raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black community to be incorporated in the United States. After some time at Howard University, she went on to Barnard College in New York City and worked under the pioneer anthropologist Franz Boas. Among the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora stood out: she was a liberated woman in her time, one who wore slacks and smoked in public; yet, she was politically conservative, in contrast to many of her fellow Renaissance writers and artists. Her work drew heavily on her anthropology training; her most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is enriched by her use of African American dialect.
Ms. Hurston's own work as an academic sociologist, with field research in Jamaica and St. Kitts, among other places, provides her with a unique connection to her aunt's perspective and life. She has been the producer and host of two documentaries on Zora and the director of a high school production of her play Mule Bone. Ms. Hurston currently teaches sociology at Manchester Community College (CT) and lives in Bloomfield, Connecticut.