Zora Neale Hurston and Floods: To Those in Brazil, Australia, and Sri Lanka

Zora Neale Hurston

I have been thinking of the people in Brazil, Australia, and Sri Lanka who have been suffering because of the floods. African American Zora Neale Hurston’s best known and most compelling novel Their Eyes Were Watching God focuses on the grief surrounding a watery natural disaster.

It’s the fictional love story of Janie and Tea Cake set against the backdrop of southern Florida during the early twentieth century. Hurston describes the aftermath of the flood of the1928  Okeechobee Hurricane:

Janie buried Tea Cake in Palm Beach. She knew he loved the ‘Glades but it was too low for him to lie with water maybe washing over him with every heavy rain. Anyway, the ‘Glades and its waters had killed him. She wanted him out of the the way of storms, so she had a strong vault built in the cemetery at West Palm Beach . . . No expensive veils and robes for Janie this time. She went (to the funeral) in her overalls. She was too busy feeling grief to dress like grief. (Zorah Neale Hurston, Novels and Stories, 330)

Remembering tragedies past and present. Remembering my sisters and brothers around the world who are suffering.

 

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