Her writing captured the idiom of "black folk" both in her native Eatonville FL (formerly an all-black town where's there's now an annual festival in her honor) as well as in her ethnographic dispatches from Haiti. It would be so wonderful for her to know how much she is appreciated today. Below are first-edition jackets of some of her most famous titles.
Hurston reported the sensational Ruby McCollum murder trial ... for the Pittsburgh Courier. McCollum had murdered a prominent local doctor and senator in Live Oak, Florida, a man with whom she was having, or coerced into having, an affair. In her newspaper reports, Hurston railed at the "cracker" judge, and against "paramour rights" -- the impunity granted any white man wishing a black concubine -- a term she had coined when writing earlier about Florida's turpentine camps. Hurston's involvement in the McCollum case is discussed in detail in Zora Neale Hurston's Final Decade (Virginia Lynn Moylan, 2011) and in Zora Hurston and the Strange Case of Ruby McCollum (C. Arthur Ellis, 2009). The case is also the subject of an upcoming movie produced by Springtree Studios.