Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Whose Blues?Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Adam Gussow

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469660363

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660363.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Zora Neale Hurston in the Florida Jooks

Zora Neale Hurston in the Florida Jooks

Chapter:
(p.151) Bar 8 Zora Neale Hurston in the Florida Jooks
Source:
Whose Blues?
Author(s):

Adam Gussow

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660363.003.0008

Like W. C. Handy and Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston was a translator: she sought textual analogies—words on a page--for the bittersweet lyricism, dynamism, and bold self-declarations found in blues music made by Black people in the rural South of the early Twentieth Century. She was also, like both men, a migrant to the urban North, a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance. A biographical as well as literary-critical exploration, this chapter focuses on Hurston’s two best-known works: Mules and Men (1935), a folklore study, and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), a cornerstone of the African American literary tradition. Both works vividly evoke the rough but vital blues culture of rural Florida, offering us Black spaces of self-making through the eyes of a Black female participant-observer. Both texts also force readers to confront the presence of scarifying, sometimes deadly violence within that juke-joint world. Hurston, this chapter argues, uses the novel to rewrite the folklore study, offering us a questing and indomitable young woman, Janie Crawford, who earns her way into the blues and lives out her destiny with the help of Tea Cake, a passionate, adventurous, and mercurial young bluesman.

Keywords:   Zora Neale Hurston, African American, literary tradition, Violence, Juke joint, Great Migration, Blues

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .