In Chapter 1, Hurston offers cultural and historical background on Eatonville, Florida, the all-black town where she spent the first part of her life and where she claims she was born.In Chapter 2, Hurston offers background on John Hurston and Lucy Potts Hurston, her parents.
In Chapter 8, Hurston describes a brief stint with a traveling musical performance troupe. M., gained access to a well-stocked library of one of the performers, and learned how to get along with whites.
In Chapter 9, Hurston recounts her decision to return to school.
In Chapter 3, Hurston recounts what she has heard of her birth.
Hurston claims she was delivered by a white neighbor who happened to stop by while Hurston’s mother was giving birth.
Chapter 15 offers a cynical take on religion, which Hurston sees as going hand-in-hand with force and power.
Hurston is a freethinker who sees no attraction in organized religion. Looking back over her life, she can see that she has had many ups and downs.
Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like The Harlem Renaissance and Race and Racial the memoir of Harlem-Renaissance-era writer Zora Neale Hurston.
Originally published in 1943, the book won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Race Relations in the nonfiction category.
Hurston was a precocious child who developed a love of books after receiving several from white benefactors at her school, and she reveled in the rich oral culture and folklore to which she was exposed on the front porch of the town store.
Hurston began composing complicated stories about neighbors, town characters, and her homemade toys.