This review article examines Zora Neale Hurston’s views on the joyful existence of Afro-Southerners. She did not believe the South was backward or inferior to middle-class northerners. The article explores philosopher Lindsey Stewart’s book The Politics of Black Joy: Zora Neale Hurston and Neo-Abolitionism and Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s and Genevieve West’s Zora Neale Hurston, You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays to think through issues of Black blame and self-loathing.

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