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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Scott DeVore

on 7 February 2010

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Transcript of Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Racism: hatred or intolerance of other races
Segregation: from segregate: to require, often with force, the separation of (a specific racial, religious, or other group) from the general body of society. Emmet Till Fourteen year old Emmet Till lived in Chicago and had gone down to Mississippi to spend the summer with his aunt, uncle and his cousins. He had spent the summer working as a sharecropper (meaning he picked and baled cotton). On August 24th, while on a lunch break he and his cousins went to a grocery store to get some candy and a coca-cola. Here's where the story is disputed.
By some reports his cousins and friends had dared him to whistle
at Carolyn Bryant, the woman working at the counter. By other reports there was no such dare.
By some reports he did whistle at her. By other reports he said, "Bye-bye baby" and by others he did nothing. 21-year old Carolyn Bryant claimed that he walked up to her and put his arm around her waist and then commented that they should go out on a date some time. Upon hearing this story Carolyn's husband Roy Bryant and his brother J.W. Milam decided that they would make an example of Emmet. At 12.30 am August 28, 1955 they drove to Emmet Till's uncle's house
and pulled him out of bed. They threw him into the back of the truck. Witnesses saw the two men and Carolyn Bryant take Till out of the truck and take him into a shed. That was the last he was ever seen alive. The three claim that they talked to him and then let him go. Three days later Till's body was found in a nearby river. He had been brutally beaten, shot, wrapped up in barbed wire and dumped into the river. The body was so badly beaten it was beyond recognition. They were only able to identify the body from a ring he had worn that had been his father's which was still on his finger. Upon seeing her son's bady disfigured body his mother demanded an open casket so that the world
could see the horrible effects of racism. On September 23, 1955 less than one month since the incident. Carolyn Bryant, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were acquitted of all charges and set free. The all-white jury had taken 67 minutes to deliberate. They said it would have been shorter, but they stopped to get a soda first. What causes racism? Ultimately, fear. We all want to make sense of our world. When things happen that we don't understand or don't like we find someone else to blame it on. We create scapegoats that suit our comfort level. Through this we create an alliance against fear or mistrust. Hierarchy of Power God
White Man
White Woman
Black Man
Black Woman Symbolism Hair
Pear Tree
The Horizon
The Hurricane Janie Mae Crawford (protagonist)
the novel follows her story upon her return
to Eatonville. Logan Killicks
- Janie's first husband Jody (Joe) Starks
- Janie's 2nd husband
- Mayor of Eatonville Vergible "Tea Cake" Woods
- Janie 3rd husband Phoeby Watson
- Janie's best friend Nanny Crawford
- Janie's Grandmother born 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama.
Her mother was a teacher and her father was a baptist minister.
Later moved to Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town in the United States
Her father went on to become mayor of Eatonville
Due to financial difficulties she wouldn't graduate high school until she was 26.
But would go on to get her Master's degree from Columbia University. In 1931 she married Herbert Sheen, a jazz musician
In 1939 she married Albert Price, who was 25 years younger than her. (this came shortly after writing Their Eyes Were Watching God)
In 1948 she was falsely accused of an improper affair (it was later discovered that she had been studying in Honduras when the alleged affair was to have happend in the US). Even as it was proven to be false it would essentially ruin her reputation. From 1950 to her death in 1960 she worked as a freelance writer and a substitute teacher.
She died penniless and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Her grave was discovered in 1973 by Alice Walker who since went on to revive Zora Neale Hurston's name and writing. Strange Fruit
By Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol (1937)

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
The Harlem Renaissaince written in:
1937 Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns... So the beginning of this was a woman and she had come back from burying the dead. Not the dead of sick and ailing with friends at the pillow and the feet. She had come back from the sodden and the bloated; the sudden dead, their eyes flung wide open in judgment.
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