A genius of the South. An embarrassment to the race. Singular American author; craven literary con artist. She was a loving champion of Black vernacular; she was a mundane writer of facile prose. A misunderstood cultural icon; a perfect darkie. Survivor. Victim. Trickster, liar. These are the various lenses through which generations of critics, fans, scholars, and detractors have assessed the life of Zora Neale Hurston.
One day, I drove the hundred miles east to visit T at Ironwood and was denied visitation. The clerk told me there was no record of my request. Never mind that I had been visiting my son there every Saturday for five years.
1.I made plans to move to Southern Illinois from Chicago in the summer, when people told me it would be drippingly humid, figuring I’d get the worst season of the year out of the way first. Baptism by summer. In the more temperate fall, I’d [...]
Two boys, pink in their manhood, lean over a balcony, full of teeth. Below: a brown man, skin tired of holding his bones. Work falls in shadows around his feet. The Puget Sound is bluer than any dream or sky. The boys loom, pink.