If Zora Neale Hurston were alive today, she might watch "The Carmichael Show," would probably be a social media queen, and would certainly be interested in today's political climate. Hurston was Barnard’s first black graduate—a member of the Class of 1928.

Hurston has received great acclaim for her literary work, particularly the highly influential novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Barnard has long highlighted the wide range of Hurston's multidisciplinary work, including publishing a groundbreaking collection of essays, video excerpts of dramatic readings, and archival materials in the Barnard Center for Research on Women's journal, The Scholar & Feminist Online. On the 75th anniversary of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barnard published essays by Associate Professor of English Monica Miller and author-scholar Sharon Johnson '85.

Most recently, Barnard hosted a conference to celebrate her work and legacy, where scholars from around the country gathered to share their thoughts on this multifaceted author and anthropologist. Several participants reveal in this video how they think Hurston would engage with today's culture and issues. 

On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Hurston's birth, Barnard is proud to be a leading institution for Hurston scholarship.