The Corner

Zora! Zora! Zora!

Google honors a conservative today: Zora Neale Hurston. She was born on this day in 1891, and Google celebrates her in its Google Doodle — the special logo on its search page.

Hurston is best known as the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. She is not as well known as a black conservative, but she’s very much in the tradition of Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and Booker T. Washington. John McWhorter has called her “black people’s favorite black conservative”:

To wit, Zora Neale Hurston was a thoroughly black waw-man who would gladly have peddled her wares on Fox News today. As we accept political diversity among black people, we need to keep this part of Hurston in mind in addition to the rest of her.

More McWhorter, this time from City Journal:

 Hurston held a fiercely asserted black conservative politics akin to Clarence Thomas’s. Her most famous statement in this vein comes from “How It Feels to Be Colored Me,” an essay of 1928: “I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature has somehow given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it.”

David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito interpret Hurston’s politics as libertarian here.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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