Monday, July 28, 2014

Zora Neale Hurston was an amazing woman, and quite a role model. She not only wrote amazing literature -- she studied with Franz Boas, taught school, worked as an anthropologist in turpentine camps in Florida and on several island in the Caribbean, reported on murder trials....and much more! To learn more about this awesome lady, I visited the Dust Track Heritage Trail.

The Dust Track Heritage Trail highlights some important places for Zora throughout Florida, the Caribbean and beyond. Several kiosks have been placed around Fort Pierce, commemorating her life and featuring important places in Fort Pierce. These places include the school she started, the newspaper office where she worked and the funeral home where her services were held.

I stopped by several of these stops when I visited Fort Pierce last week. The first stop was a library named after her. The library has lots of great Zora-inspired artwork hanging on the walls. It also houses a collection of Zora's works, books about her and other great research materials.

Another place I stopped by is her grave. Sarah wrote a great blog post about the cemetery for our Cemetery a Day in May posts. Alice Walker found her grave in 1973, 13 years after Zora passed. She was buried in an unmarked grave - the community had to rally to raise enough money to pay for the services and burial. Walker located it and placed the current headstone.

Zora's gravesite, now a beautiful memorial.
Mementos left on Zora's grave.

Want to cruise the trail yourself? Check out the virtual tour on the website and then head on to Fort Pierce in person! There's also an annual Zorafest.

Text and images by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN staff.

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