Zora and Eleanor: Toward a Fuller Understanding of the First Lady’s Civil Rights Legacy

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by David T Beito

“Eleanor Roosevelt and Zora Neale Hurston were pivotal figures in African American history during the twentieth century, the first for her personal fight against racial discrimination in an administration that often fell short in that regard, and the second for her contributions as a folklorist and novelist. Both women evoke such strong feelings that many habitually refer to them by their first names. While Eleanor Roosevelt’s views on Zora Neale Hurston remain a mystery, the reverse was most certainly not the case. Hurston had strong opinions about Eleanor Roosevelt, and especially had much to say about the single event most identified with the First Lady’s tenure: her public resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) because it barred African-American contralto Marian Anderson from performing at Constitution Hall.” (11/15/23)