Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Just 30 minutes north of Orlando is the Zora Neale Hurston Museum in Eatonville, Florida, the first African-American town to be independently governed. Currently, the population of Eatonville is approximately 2,300 residents.

Most known for Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston was an author as well as a playwright. Read her biography here: zoranealehurston.com.

The daughter of former enslaved persons, Zora Neale Hurston received a scholarship to Barnard College and became a fixture in the Harlem Renaissance cultural scene. Many years after her death in 1960, author Alice Walker published an article creating a lasting resurgence of interest in this anthropologist and respected writer.

In addition, Fort Pierce, where Zora Neale Hurston lived and worked for a time, offers its own trail commemorating her life, beginning at the library that was named for her. Fort Pierce has a population of approximately 46,000. Other places where she lived in Florida include Belle Glade, Eue Gallie (in Melbourne), and on a boat docked in Miami.

Scholarly readers interested in the literary world of this ground-breaking writer may like Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal by Yuval Taylor, published in 2019.

Zora letter
Letter written by Zora Neale Hurston exhibited at the Broward County Main Library, Fort Lauderdale, FL ©Author Adventures

Zora Neale Hurston’s two locations are the third and fourth stops on Florida Trail #1!

Patricia Smart