Zora, Langston, and Sassy Susie
April 9, 2019 10:41 AM   Subscribe

When Zora Neale Hurston invited Langston Hughes to join her expedition to Tuskeegee in her little old Nash coupe, nicknamed “Sassy Susie,” Langston happily accepted. (The car looked a lot like a Model T Ford, and could only seat two.) Langston adored the company of entertainers, and Zora was as entertaining as they came. Langston did not know how to drive, but Zora loved driving and didn’t mind a whit. They decided to make a real trip of it, “stopping on the way to pick up folk-songs, conjur [sic], and big old lies,” as Langston wrote. “Blind guitar players, conjur men, and former slaves were her quarry, small town jooks and plantation churches, her haunts. I knew it would be fun traveling with her. It was.”
posted by ChuraChura (5 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
This has to rate as one of the greatest road trips ever! Thanks for linking this, ChuraChura, I love the idea of them zooming along the highway and byways, exchanging stories.

Also, man, the attempts to recreate slavery as closely as possible...

"Across the South, the summer of 1927 was marked by a growing recognition that the great exodus of African Americans to the North represented an economic threat that had to be dealt with. Alabama enacted a statute prohibiting the inducement of workers to leave the state “through grandiose promises of economic and social betterment”; Georgia already had a similar law on the books"
posted by tavella at 10:57 AM on April 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I'd put this one up there at least with Edith Wharton and Henry James driving around France in her car.
posted by praemunire at 11:44 AM on April 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh man, will somebody please make a movie about this?
posted by Bob Regular at 1:48 PM on April 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

I'm thinking Netflix Original Series. Each episode has them in a different town across the South, foiling villains, writing poetry/prose, and generally kicking ass. Season Two is Edith and Henry in France. Season Three: Steinbeck and Charley and Rocinante.

Title: Writers on the Road. Writers on the Move. It Happened One Night (copyright violation?)

I'll forgo royalties in exchange for an "based on an idea by" credit.
posted by basalganglia at 3:46 PM on April 9, 2019 [8 favorites]

I wish I knew where they stayed in Savannah, I'd put up a plaque saying Zora and Langston slept here.

When my grandmother, a very proper WASP lady born in 1895, died I went through her books. To my amazement and delight she had a well-thumbed and earmarked copy of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes. I treasured it for years until someone borrowed it and never returned it. I wish I had noticed on her shelves before she died so we could have discussed it.
posted by mareli at 11:09 AM on April 10, 2019

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