SYLACAUGA, Ala. – “Zora Neale Hurston and the African American Literary Renaissance” will be presented by Dr. Wayne Flynt on Wednesday at the Comer Library’s SouthFirst Bank Lecture Series.

Dr. Flynt said, “Zora Neale Hurston is one of Alabama’s most famous writers —and in the state of her birth, one of its least known!  Of the many remarkable literary lives nurtured by Alabama’s rich cultural landscape, none is more improbable than Hurston’s.  Born (we think but are not sure) on Jan. 7, 1891 in Notasulga, a tiny town straddling the Lee-Macon county line in East Central Alabama.

Hurston was the initial spark to what became a generation later a veritable Alabama firestorm of African American literary talent and energy.”   Dr. Flynt will discuss Zora’s early life in the all-black community of Eatonville; her education at Barnard College and Columbia University; and her career as a noted writer, anthropologist, and cultural commentator.  He will discuss the eventual decline of her work and influence, as well as her posthumous rediscovery by Pulitzer-winning writer Alice Walker.

Wayne Flynt, one of the country’s foremost historians, graduated from Anniston High School and Howard College.  He took his doctorate at Florida State University; taught at Samford University for twelve years; served as head of Auburn University’s history department; and retired as Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2005. He has received numerous teaching awards; has written and coauthored many award-winning books; was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor; and was named Alabamian of the Year by the Mobile Register.

The “Celebrating Alabama’s Storied Past” adult lecture series is sponsored by the SouthFirst Bank with refreshments sponsored by the Coosa Valley Medical Center’s Hickory Street Café.  Refreshments are at 11:00 and the program is at noon.  For more information, contact library director Tracey Thomas at 256-249-0961 or e-mail tthomas@bbclibrary.net.

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