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Trail Honors Black Author

Trail honors black author

By Jason Geary
Fort Pierce Tribune

March 13, 2004

Fort Pierce: Before dying broke in a nursing home, Zora Neale Hurston led a rich life.

She spent her final four years in Fort Pierce. But her quiet death in 1960 at age 69 doesn't begin to tell the story of her literary career.

"She is a huge cultural icon," said Jon Ward, executive director of the St. Lucie County Cultural Affairs Council.

The popular black author probably is best known for her widely published novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ward said.

Beginning in April, Gov. Jeb Bush will endorse a monthlong initiative to encourage Floridians to read the Hurston book and promote discussions of its content.

The Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail, a Fort Pierce tribute to the Harlem Renaissance writer and anthropologist, was dedicated Friday.

"I think of it as an outdoor museum exhibit," Ward said.

The $100,000 project was made possible through cooperation of the Florida Humanities Council, the St. Lucie County Library System, St. Lucie County Cultural Affairs Council, the Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County commissions and donations from nonprofit groups.

A similar trail has been dedicated in Hurston's hometown of Eatonville.

Jason Geary can be reached at

Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail in Fort Pierce includes:

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