It’s amazing the way inspiration can creep up on you. Tonight while talking to a friend on ooVoo, the friend inquired about my user name and what it meant. I revealed that my user name “Sweat” was inspired by a short story of the same name by novelist Zora Neale Hurston. This person inquired about the story and I took to Google to find an online version of the story to share. What my Google search led me to was a book titled Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston and edited by Cheryl A. Wall who also provides an introduction. Most people know that Zora Neale Hurston is my favorite author of all time and I never pass up the chance to learn more about the prolific woman and writer who has inspired me in so many ways already. Reading the introduction by Cheryl A. Wall really provided me with some new insights about Zora Neale Hurston. Cheryl A. Wall writes, “Zora Neale Hurston was a writer who respected the complex language and lives of the people she wrote about.” In a time when most black writers were trying to distance themselves from black folk language Zora Neale Hurston took it and molded it into something beautiful and poetic. A testament to her skills as both writer and anthropologist. Zora Neale Hurston understood that the black folk language was poetic and instead of running from it she ran to it. Another aspect of the introduction that really touched me was the revelation that Zora Neale Hurston had done extensive fieldwork in Polk County, Florida. As someone raised in that neck of the woods I know that she found rich examples of black folk life in that citrus belt.
I never underestimate the ability of my thirst for hunger to take me to new,and exciting places, and to reveal greater insights into the world around me and the beautiful people who make up this world. One of the things that I hope all people realizes is that knowledge is at our fingertips and it is up to us to seek it out. We do not have to wait for a classroom or a teacher to pursue the acquisition of knowledge. It’s out there and sometimes it’s only a Google search away. Zora Neale Hurston found books in trash piles to quench her thirst for knowledge, we have Google at our fingertips and should utilize such a resource as much as possible.