Zora Neale Hurston: Short Stories

Criticism and plagiarism

Darwin Turner, one of Hurston's biographers, faulted her for racism for opposing integration, and for opposing programs to guarantee blacks the right to work.[53]

Other authors criticized Hurston for her sensationalist representation of voodoo.[54] In The Crisis, Harold Preece criticized Hurston for her perpetuation of "Negro primitivism" in order to advance her own literary career.[55] The Journal of Negro History complained that her work on voodoo was an indictment of African American ignorance and supersition.[56]

Jeffrey Anderson states that Hurston's research methods were questionable, and that she fabricated material for her works on voodoo. He observed that she admitted inventing dialogue for her book Mules and Men in a letter to Ruth Benedict. She described fabricating the Mules and Men story of rival voodoo doctors as a child in her later autobiography. Anderson observes that many of Hurston's other claims in her voodoo writings are dubious as well.[57]

Several authors have observed that Hurston engaged in significant plagiarism in at least three works. Her article "Cudjo's own story of the last African slaver" was only 25% original, the rest being plagiarized.[58] Hurston also plagiarized much of her work on voodoo.[59]

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