In 1937 the literary world was shaken by a novel in which a tale of Black love and a women who openly finds herself through a series of interesting relationships. Writer, anthropologist, and playwright, Zora Neale Hurston, brought another voice with her epic novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The book’s main character Janie Crawford is a girl who becomes a woman in search of her own destiny in the form of developing her own way of thinking and expressing herself as a young Black woman, at a time when the male dominated society had their own views of how the woman was to be during the 1930’s into early 1940’s. Hurston was one of the first Black female writers that explored the sexual, feministic, and political state of being all of the above, in a period that was way before the Woman Liberation period of the 1970’s and openness and struggle of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Zora’s masterpiece of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and The Greene Space here in New York City put together some special live radio drama adaptations of her novel over a series of the last seven months. Spearheaded and produced by Greene Space Executive Producer Indria Etwaroo, the closing presentation features the legendary Carl Hancock Rux, who wrote and performed “Tea Cake’s Legacy.” Rux, reads and interprets the last love of Janie Crawford’s life, Teacup, accompanied to music by guitarist Vernon Reid. Afterwards, a discussion of Zora’s novel took place featuring Rux, Patrik Henry Bass of Essence Magazine; actor Brandon Dirden, writer Arthur Yorinks, and moderator Patrick Riley.
Carl Hancock Rux, a Harlem, New York native, is a well-known writer of many plays and literature including: “Elmina Blues,” “The Exalted,” “Asphalt,” and “Pagan Operetta.”
To watch the entire “Tea Cake’s Legacy” performance featuring Carl Hancock Rux and Vernon Reid in its entirety, please visit the Greene Space website’s link thegreenespace.org/events/thegreenespace/2012/sep/17/their-eyes-were-watching-god-teacakes-legacy/
For more info on Carl and to find out his upcoming spoken word performances, please visit him online at carlhancockrux.com.
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