Glorious is an historical fiction novel, which follows the life of fictional, Harlem Renaissance writer, Easter Venetta Bartlett. I had the great joy and even greater honor of being allowed to weave in factual characters who were some of the major players during that important era in American History. Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes are just two of the factual characters.
Back in 2008 while researching Glorious, I stumbled across the 1930 Census and found that Zora and Langston had spent the summer in Westfield, NJ. They were there working on the playMule Bone - the project would ultimately become the defining end of their friendship.
Over the weekend I finally got the chance to go and see the homes that for a few weeks in the summer of 1930 - housed these great and important American writers.
On the 1930 census form Zora Neale Hurston was a border at 405 West Broad Street in Westfield, New Jersey. The house was owned by Jesse and Frankie Johnson and was worth $7000. Jesse originally from South Carolina is a baggage porter, his wife Frankie a native of Mississippi has no occupation.
Zora is listed as being 28 years of age, born in Florida to parents who were born in Alabama. Her occupation is listed as: Anthropologist.
Other boarders listed are: Walter Williams, Howard Anderson and Charlie and Marjorie Newton.
Langston Hughes was a boarder at 514 Downer Street In Westfield, NJ. The home was owned by James and Fannie Peebles and had an estimated worth of $10,000. James Peebles was a porter clerk at Jerfferson Station, his wife had no occupation.
Langston Hughes is 28 years old and a native of Missouri. His father was born in Indiana and his mother in Kansas. Langston's occupation is listed as: Author.
There are no other boarders listed.
P.S. Please send in your census form!!!
I love you for reading!
Causes Bernice McFadden Supports
Hurston Wright Foundation
Girls Write Now
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)