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The Swamp | Interactive

Zora Neale Hurston and the Polk County Blues

Text by Cori Brosnahan | Illustrations by Laura Freeman 

In 1928, Zora Neale Hurston traveled to Polk County, Florida to collect folklore. She ended up at a lumber camp, where African Americans from around the South worked long hours in difficult conditions. By the time she left — in a hurry, at knifepoint — she had collected a slew of stories that would become the first book of African American folklore written by an African American. For Hurston, these tales would provide endless inspiration, breathing life into her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

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