Matthew Heard on Zora Neale Hurston Article Review by Nicky

A review of Matthew Heard's article, entitled ""Dancing is Dancing no Matter Who is Doing it": Zora Neale Hurston, Literacy, and Contemporary Writing Pedagogy".
# 150976 | 1,297 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 15, 2012 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Historical Figures)

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The paper looks at Matthew Heard's article on Zora Neale Hurston and his assertion that Hurston's writings should be reassessed as rhetorically sophisticated texts where non-mainstream students could obtain linguistic strategies. The paper specifically looks at Heard's discussion of "Their Eyes Were Watching God" and "Color Struck," and focuses on Heard's argument that Hurston shows how a writer from the non-mainstream minority can successfully use her own traditions in order to understand, evaluate and even change the value system of the dominant culture.

From the Paper:

"During the early 20th Century, Zora Neale Hurston, an African American female became a celebrated author and anthropologist. She refused to relinquish her interest in black folklore and values for more mainstream issues such as artist expression, politics and race relations. However Heard believes that, "Assuming a role in the dominant society, always involves some kind of masking" (Heard, p. 153). As a black women writer in her time, Hurston needed to create a style that would not alienate her from the white readers, especially because she was financially dependent on a white benefactor with an interest in primitive writing.
"In works like "Their Eyes Were Watching God," "Color Struck," "Spunk," and "How It Feels to Be Colored Me," Hurston used the language of the Southern blacks. Her use of dialect was often criticized by contemporaries as being "a racist caricature of African American culture." Friend and fellow writer, Langston Hughes, stated, "she did not write fiction in the protest novelist way." Heard states that, "even today, the writing of Hurston has not been given enough recognition. The complexity of her writing and rhetorical proficiency evidence her skill as an author and justifies an exploration of aesthetics and politics in Hurston's works in the context of rhetorical theory and writing pedagogy.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Heard, Matthew. "Dancing is dancing no matter who is doing it": Zora Neale Hurston, literacy, and contemporary writing pedagogy.College Literature, 2007

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

Matthew Heard on Zora Neale Hurston (2012, May 15) Retrieved November 26, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Matthew Heard on Zora Neale Hurston" 15 May 2012. Web. 26 November. 2022. <>