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Hello, dVersians! It’s Lisa from Tao-Talk welcoming all to Prosery Monday. I hope you will be inspired by the quote chosen for today to write 144 words of prose around. First I’d like to tell you how I got to it.

Alice Walker‘s writing has been calling to me for awhile. I’ve read some of her novels and essays and always feel more educated and empathetic afterwards. She’s a writer who draws you in with what I call “sleepers,” where you are affected at the time of reading but your mind keeps turning the content over and over to an ever-growing and lasting impact.

The search engine at the library brought up a lengthy list of her works to browse. “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardensjumped up and said hi. Published in 1983, it is a collection of 36 separate pieces written by Ms. Walker between 1966 and 1982. The book is in three parts; I just finished part two. In part one there are two features on author and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston.

From the National Women’s History Museum:
Zora Hurston (b.1891-d.1960) was a world-renowned writer and anthropologist. Hurston’s novels, short stories, and plays often depicted African American life in the South. Her work in anthropology examined black folklore. Hurston influenced many writers, forever cementing her place in history as one of the foremost female writers of the 20th century.

Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama on January 15, 1891. Both her parents had been enslaved. At a young age, her family relocated to Eatonville, Florida where they flourished. Eventually, her father became one of the town’s first mayors… In 1925, Hurston received a scholarship to Barnard College and graduated three years later with a BA in anthropology. During her time as a student in New York City, Hurston befriended other writers such as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. Together, the group of writers joined the black cultural renaissance which was taking place in Harlem.

Throughout her life Hurston dedicated herself to promoting and studying black culture. She traveled to both Haiti and Jamaica to study the religions of the African diaspora. Hurston often incorporated her research into her fictional writing and started publishing short stories as early as 1920. Unfortunately, her work was ignored by the mainstream literary audience for years. However, she gained a following among African Americans. In 1935, she published Mules and Men. She later, collaborated with Langston Hughes to create the play, Mule Bone. She published three books between 1934 and 1939. One of her most popular works was, “Their Eyes were Watching God” … Hurston broke literary norms by focusing her work on the experience of a black woman.

PBS has an excellent feature on Ms. Hurston’s influence and includes an historical context for her work – including hearing her sing on one of her anthropological finds, here.


The second feature is about Walker’s search to find out where Ms. Hurston is buried, called, “Looking for Zora.” It is here that I found the Prosery quote we will be working with:

No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

–Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928)

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to incorporate the above quote into a piece of prose. This can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction, but it must be prose! Not prose poetry, and not a poem. And it must be no longer than 144 words, not including the title. (It does not have to be exactly 144 words, but it can’t exceed 144 words.)

–Please include Zora Neale Hurston and where the quote came from on your post
–You must use that entire line. You may change punctuation and capitalize words, but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the sentence.
Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line.
Post your Prosery piece on your blog and link back to this post.
Place the link to your actual post (not your blog or web site) in the Mister Linky site.
Don’t forget to check the little box to accept use/privacy policy
Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!

Note:  the discrepancy between the birth date on the headstone and the information in the post is explained by proxy in Ms. Walker’s feature, “Looking for Zora.”

Top image of the grave marker of Zora Neale Hurston link
Image of Zora Neale Hurston link