Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Zora & Ida: 2014 Inspiration

I was pleasantly surprised today to see Google honor the iconic writer Zora Neale Hurston with a Google "doodle" on what would have been her 123rd birthday. Inspirations to me since I was in high school, Hurston and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, another incredibly talented, journalistically-driven writer, have been on my mind lately as I encourage myself to pursue my own creative destiny. 

I'm always bursting with pride when I remember that Hurston was the co-founder of "The Hilltop," Howard University's award-winning student newspaper, where I cut my teeth as a budding young journalist. It's wild to think that I was writing and editing at such an important historical organ, which she created. That's some kind of responsibility. Even more, it is motivating to know that at one time, we were in the same place in our careers.

The other day a friend reminded me that nearly a decade ago we had quite an adventure traveling to the Zora Neale Hurston Festival in Eatonville, Fla. I got a chance to speak to legendary sculpture Elizabeth Catlett and I met the incredible artist Carrie Mae Weems. For the last 18 months, I've been editing articles about and video interviewing lecturers in Spelman College's Ida B. Wells Barnett Lecture Series. I've even blogged on Enjoyceinglife about the impact series lecturers like Melissa Harris Perry had on me.

I'll spend more time this year studying the journeys of Hurston and Wells-Barnett, who are like my historical mentors. I marvel at their research prowess, bravery, tenacity, and especially their commitment to life-changing work. Learn more about Hurston and Wells-Barnett. Happy 123rd Ms. Hurston! Your work is enduring.

Keep Enjoyceinglife in 2014. This is our year!

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