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Zora Neale Hurston Events at Eatonville Branch to Take Place as Scheduled


Although the Association to Preserve Eatonville Community has announced that the Zora! Fest 2022 has been rescheduled due to concerns about COVID, Orange County Library System will host its events scheduled for that weekend, and Eatonville Branch will remain open for regular services on January 29.

From January 27-29, Eatonville Branch hosts Zora Neale Hurston: The Storyteller and Her Town, with support from Florida Humanities. The events series features presentations from Zora Neale Hurston scholar Rae Chesny, and begins with a virtual event on Thursday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m., called Queen of the Harlem Renaissance. It will introduce Hurston’s life, impact on American culture and some often-overlooked details of her story. A Q&A with Chesny will follow the presentation. On Friday, January 28, Introducing Zora, an in-person event featuring Chesney takes at the Eatonville Branch at 5 p.m. This event will discuss Hurston’s life and her upbringing in Eatonville. On Saturday, January 29 at 11 a.m., an in-person event called Finding Eatonville Around the World will explore Hurston’s contributions to preserving Black culture. Chesny will discuss how experiences Hurston had in Eatonville prepared her for her creative and scientific work. On January 29 at noon, the series wraps up with a final in-person event called The Storyteller and Her Town, which takes participants on a walking tour of Eatonville led by Chesny.

Rae Chesny is an award-winning social education expert, author, Johns Hopkins University Literary Consultant, and a Zora Neale Hurston scholar. She splits her time researching, writing and presenting about Hurston, and writing her own poetry, fiction and folklore. Rae is a 2021 Baldwin House Urban Writer in Residence. Her forthcoming book, Dear Zora, chronicles her journey into becoming a Zora scholar. The title will release in January 2022. For more information, visit raechesny.com.

All of these events are free. To register, visit the library’s website.