Jump At the Sun: A Documentary About Zora Neale Hurston

Subject: Arts / Literature / Civil Rights
Themes: Women's Rights The Arts Education Civil Rights 20th Century
Age groups: High School Homeschooling
Resource type: Video

Find out more at the California Newsreel site about the documentary Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun, described by Newsday as, "An exhilirating portrait of an exhilirating woman, and a cut above the usual American Masters portrait." Also look at the PBS page, which includes a 1943 letter that Hurston wrote to Countee Cullen, in which she discusses lynching, segregation and liberals. Also on the PBS site are a timeline of Hurston´s life, interviews with the makers of the documentary, and outtakes and deleted scenes.

From the film description on the California Newsreel site:

Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun intersperses insights from leading scholars and rare footage of the rural South (some of it shot by Zora herself) with re-enactments of a revealing 1943 radio interview. Hurston biographer, Cheryl Wall, traces Zora's unique artistic vision back to her childhood in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black incorporated town in the U.S. There Zora was surrounded by proud, self-sufficient, self-governing black people, deeply immersed in African American folk traditions. Her father, a Baptist preacher, carpenter and three times mayor, reminded Zora every Sunday morning that ordinary black people could be powerful poets. Her mother encouraged her to "jump at de' sun," never to let being black and a woman stand in the way of her dreams.