Zora Neale Hurston Racial Debate

Slide One - Today im going to be exploring the racial debate between Zora Neale Hurston & Richard Wright. I will be looking into reviews that their eyes were watching God received and hopefully come to a conclusion as to why they were received.
Slide Two –   Their eyes were watching god was written in 1937, a time when novels written by African-American female authors were rare. Not only was it unusual for an African-American female author to have a novel published, but also it was uncommon for novels written during this time period to contain an African-American female as the heroine. Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century, the novel was initially poorly received for its rejection of racial uplift literary prescriptions. Today, it has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women's literature. While the novel was not autobiographical, it was likely influenced by Hurston’s childhood in Eatonville, Florida, and her anthropological interests in rural Black folk culture.
Slide Three - Initial reception
Hurston's political views in Their Eyes Were Watching God were met with resistance from several leading Harlem Renaissance authors.
Novelist and essayist Richard Wright condemned Their Eyes Were Watching God, writing in a review for New Masses (1935):
Miss Hurston seems to have no desire whatsoever to move in the direction of serious fiction… [She] can write; but her prose is cloaked in that facile sensuality that has dogged Negro expression since the days of Phyllis Wheatley... Her characters eat and laugh and cry and work and kill; they swing like a pendulum eternally in that safe and narrow orbit in which America likes to see the Negro live: between laughter and tears.[25]
Ralph Ellison said the book contained a "blight of calculated burlesque."[26]
Alain Locke writes in a review: "when will the Negro novelist of maturity, who knows how to tell a story convincingly—which is Miss Hurston's cradle gift,...