Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960) was a writer and anthropologist originally from the South, who became a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston is the author of the classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, as well as countless other volumes of fiction, poetry, and scholarly nonfiction. Her nonfiction book Barracoon, about the transatlantic slave trade, was published posthumously in 2018.
Alice Walker is a poet, writer, and activist. She is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Color Purple, and author of multiple novels, short stories, children’s books, essays, and poetry collections, including 2018’s Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. Walker’s works have been translated into more than two dozen languages worldwide.
Mary Helen Washington is Distinguished University Professor in the English Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor Washington specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century African American literature. She has edited several influential collections, including Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and About Black Women and Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women 1860–1960.