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Beyond the Books

Some books taught in schools inspire lifelong aversions to reading. (Think War and Peace, The Grapes of Wrath, or basically anything by Dostoyevsky.) But sometimes, a novel hits the perfect spot in the hearts of students nationwide. And one such book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is set right here in the Sunshine State. The story of that book’s author, groundbreaking novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, comes to the African Heritage Cultural Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami) this month. Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun is a 2008 documentary that traces the author’s artistic journey from her childhood in Eatonville, Florida, to her death in 1960. Directed by Sam Pollard and produced by Kristy Andersen, the film combines insights from leading scholars and rare footage of the rural South (some of it shot by Hurston) with reenactments of a revealing 1943 radio interview. With information compiled by biographer Cheryl Wall, the documentary details Hurston’s reputation in the literary community as well as her controversial societal views, including her stance on the American civil rights movement and the portrayal of black people in literature.
Tue., Jan. 28, 6:15-8 p.m., 2014


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