Mules and Men (Paperback)
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|Hurston recounts her experiences collecting African-American folklore and offers some seventy folk tales and a series of hoodoo rituals. *Author: Hurston, Zora Neale/ Boas, Franz (INT)/ Rampersad, Arnold (FRW)/ Gates, Henry Louis (AFT) *Publication Date: 2008/01/01 *Number of Pages: 341 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.25|
Zora Neale Hurston was born in an all-black Florida town where her father was the mayor. Her mother died when she was 9, her father married a woman with whom she didn't get along, and she spent her childhood living with various relatives. When she was 14, she began to support herself, working as a manicurist, a waitress, a maid, and finally a wardrobe girl in a theatrical company. She became a part-time student at Howard University, where she began writing. In 1925 she moved to New York City to work as secretary to the popular novelist Fannie Hurst and attend Barnard College on a scholarship. She studied anthropology and, after graduation, went back south to study folklore. Later she also traveled to the Caribbean. Hurston was an important member of the Harlem Renaissance, writing fiction that was based on her own personal experiences and that also reflected her Southern background, her racial heritage, and her strong interest in black folklore. She was married twice, both times very briefly, finding that marriage and career were not compatible. Her life changed when, in 1948, she was accused of corrupting a minor; she was acquitted but devastated by the humiliating publicity--"I care nothing for anything any more," she wrote in a letter. She left New York, dropped all her friends, and returned to Florida, where for the rest of her life she struggled to survive, working as a maid, borrowing money, taking odd jobs. She died after a stroke in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home, and was buried in an unmarked grave. She died a pauper, but, as the minister said in her funeral eulogy, "The Miami paper said she died poor. But she died rich. She did something."Arnold Rampersad has been the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University, in addition to having taught at Stanford, Rutgers, and Columbia universities. His first book was on a lesser-known work by Herman Melville, and he teaches American literature of all periods. Rampersad has distinguished himself as a biographer; his book on W.E.B. Du Bois and his magisterial two-volume life of Langston Hughes are cited as examples of the craft of biography. Rampersad collaborated with Arthur Ashe on his biography, DAYS OF GRACE. Rampersad wrote his highly regarded biography of Jackie Robinson with the cooperation of Robinson's widow and family. He has also edited and written introductions for a number of collections in American literature, has written numerous reviews and scholarly articles. Rampersad was the recipient of a MacArthur award, also known as "the genius grant."The scholar and teacher Franz Boas had perhaps the greatest influence on anthropology in America. Born in Germany in 1858, he trained as a scientist, wrote a dissertation on seawater, and studied geography, but he was also in an intellectual milieu that included Wilhelm Wundt, the founder of experimental psychology. As a result of expeditions to the Arctic and British Columbia, and encounters with tribal peoples there, Boas's interests shifted to the study of culture. In 1887 he emigrated to the United States, and became a citizen five years later. In 1899, Boas was named a professor at Columbia University, and it is there that he shaped the course of American anthropology, teaching a group of scholars who would continue his work and, in the cases of Edward Sapir and Margaret Mead, become famous themselves. His fieldwork among the Kwakuitl Indians from the 1880s through the 1920s defined the methodology of the subdiscipline of ethnology. Late in his life, he published the groundbreaking "Race, Language, and Culture" (1940), a collection of papers and a kind of summation, written with an awareness of the rise of Nazism in the country of his birth.
"A very interesting collection . . . both for the ...