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Live From the Reading Room: Zora Neale Hurston to 'Bill'


Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora.

Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Today’s episode features a letter from writer, anthropologist, and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston to her friend, “Bill.”

Today’s correspondence is recited by Renée Watson, author of several books for young readers, including Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills and This Side of Home, a YA novel about a young teen dealing with her gentrifying neighborhood. Renée’s poetry and fiction often centers around the lived experiences of black girls and women and explores themes of home, identity, and resilience. She grew up reading Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston and often returns to their works for inspiration.

*Special Note: All text is represented as originally written by the correspondent.  


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