HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Lucy Anne Hurston

Sociologist and Author


  • Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston



Lucy Anne Hurston, acclaimed sociologist, biographer, ethnographer, professor and niece of major 20th century writer Zora Neale Hurston, has spent her life as an educator and compiled a detailed knowledge of her aunt’s life and work with an historian’s observant eye. Hurston is the author of Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. The work consists of text, photographs, and various pieces of memorabilia related to Zora Neale Hurston’s life. Though only three years old when Zora died in relative obscurity, Lucy Anne Hurston has, over her lifetime, compiled a detailed knowledge of her aunt’s life and work with a historian’s observant eye.

Zora was raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black community to be incorporated into the United States. After some time at Howard University, she went on to Barnard College in New York City and worked under the pioneer anthropologist Franz Boas.  She was a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s as a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, travel writer, and leading scholar of African American folklore.  Among the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora stood out: she was a liberated woman in her time, one who wore slacks and smoked in public; yet, she was politically conservative, in contrast to many of her fellow Renaissance writers and artists. Zora’s work drew heavily on her anthropology training, and her most famous novel, the 1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God (Amistad), is required reading in high schools and colleges throughout the country. Her novel is enriched by her use of African American dialect.

She has taught at Manchester Community College for more than 20 years, covering sociology to social inequality and contemporary social issues. Lucy Anne Hurston’s own work as an academic sociologist, with field research in Jamaica and St. Kitts, provides her with a unique connection to her aunt’s perspective and life.  Hurston received her associate degree from Manchester Community College, her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Central Connecticut State University, and her master’s in sociology from The Ohio State University.

 Praise for Lucy Anne Hurston:

"[Lucy,] Thank-You so very much for sharing your stories and history with the students and staff at Milwaukee African American Immersion High! We enjoyed the personal interaction with the audience. It was very inspiring not only for the students, but for me also."

--Ms. Phyllis D. Smith, Assistant Principal, MAAI High School