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September 18, 1937
Zora Neale Hurston
Janie Crawford, Logan Killicks, Joe "Jody" Starks, Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods
Community, race and racism, the folklore quality of religion, Janie’s hair, the pear tree, the horizon, the hurricane.
The novel explores traditional gender roles, the role of masculinity, and the relationship between men and women. The liberation of women from racial history, domestic violence, sexual norms and the value of women in relationships also deserves special attention.
"We’se uh mingled people and all of us got black kinfolks as well as yaller kinfolks."
"Anyone who looked more white folkish than herself was better than she was in her criteria, therefore it was right they should be cruel to her at times…. Like the pecking order in a chicken yard."
"De ones de white man knows is nice colored folks. De ones he don’t know is bad niggers."
"Janie is wherever Ah wants tuh be. Dat’s de kind uh wife she is and Ah love her for it. Ah wouldn’t be knockin’ her around. Ah didn’t wants whup her last night, but ol’ Mis’ Turner done send for her brother tuh come bait Janie in and take her away from me. Ah didn’t whup Jane ‘cause she done nothin’. Ah beat her tuh show dem Turners who is boss."
"What dat ole forty year ole ʼoman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal?"
TIME included the novel in their list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923 in 2005.
Written in seven weeks during 1937 while Hurston was in Haiti.