For today's installment of American History XX, composer Victoria Bond talks about the life of Victoria Woodhull, who in 1872 became the first woman to run for president of the United States. Woodhull pushed for women’s suffrage, social reforms, and even free love. Victoria Bond’s opera, "Mrs. President," will be performed at Symphony Space July 9.
“Zora and Me” fictionalizes the childhood of the Harlem Renaissance writer, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. (Hurston was born in 1891, lived through the Jim Crow south, and died in 1960.) The young adult novel is the first in a planned trilogy which imagines Hurston as a girl detective in her all-black hometown of Eatonville, Florida, at the start of the 20th century.
Zora Neale Hurston may have been an incredible writer, but she wasn't a bad singer either. How do we know? Thanks to a team of archivists who hauled a huge "portable" disc recorder around Florida in the 1930s, we can hear Hurston singing old songs about working-class black Americans during Jim Crow segregation.