How Did Zora Neale Hurston Contribute to the Harlem Renaissance?

Zora Neale Hurston contributed to the Harlem Renaissance by writing many stories, articles, plays and novels in the 1920s and '30s in New York. She wrote her most famous work, "Their Eyes Were Watching God," near the end of the Harlem Renaissance in 1937.

Zora Neale Hurston was friends with many of the Harlem Renaissance writers and luminaries, including Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. As an anthropologist, Hurston spent some time in Florida gathering stories and African-American folk tales that she later published as a short story collection titled "Mules and Men." She was considered an excellent folklorist who studied and wrote about many cultures.

In the mid 1930s, Hurston wrote several plays and even collaborated on a play with Langston Hughes that they never finished due to a falling out. She released her first novel in 1934 that earned her a Guggenheim fellowship. This gave her the opportunity to write "Their Eyes Were Watching God" while studying the culture and Voodoo practices of Haiti. Her last literary success was her own autobiography, published in 1942 and called "Dust Tracks On a Road." Her work during the Harlem Renaissance inspired many great writers, including Alice Walker, who is responsible for creating a revival of interest in Hurston's work during the 1970s, over a decade after she had passed away.