Sunday, January 09, 2005

Dust tracks on a Road

January 7, 1891 the world was blessed with a force of nature who actually fits the tired bill of 'ahead of their time.' Zora Neale Hurston was gangsta before the term had a cut umbilical. She was everything we try to be before it even existed, ya girl was baad. she was pro black when the klan roamed freely stamping out life after life like spent cigarettes. she wasn't just pro black she was proud of her heritage and went in search of it in places most people were praying earnestly to forget. She didn't just stay in Harlem waxing poetic with perm royalty she let her hands get rough picking cotton while listening to illiterate geniuses twist broken english into splendor those of us who like to call ourselves emcees wish we could construct.

People have a tendency to take the dirt and grime out of their 'heros' until shadows stand next to a brilliant fiction. not Zora, she wove her flaws into every single drop of evidence of her existence. Read Their eyes are watching God or Of Mules and Men and say she wasn't the lyrical version of Pam Grier with Billie's voice twinkling at you through every letter. This world has many injustices but one of the greatest is that she died alone and dead broke nameless. Zora Neale Hurston was the painful truth personified and i'd like to take the time to acknowledge her light 114 years after it first flickered, cause all they ever wanted us to do was remember.

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