Discussing “Black Death”

In this story, Hurston uses her knowledge of black folklore and black tales of the supernatural, to tell a story of obtaining justice for a broken heart. This story could easily have been an episode Rod Sterling’s Night Gallery or the Twilight Zone.

The antagonist of this story has a name that everyone will find familiar. I will not tell you so you can be surprised like I was. I do wonder about the name’s history and did the entertainer who used it, get the name from the folklore and literature of the time.

This story is listed as one of the seven unpublished stories in “The Complete Stories” collection. I think that is a shame because I really like the way this story flowed.

One thing I have noticed during this process is the way Hurston paints a picture of the way women are treated. The needs of the women are ignored or openly rejected. Hurston weaves this treatment into her stories narratives, so it is apparent and a part of the world her characters live in. This is terribly similar to the way things are in real life.

One key thing I get from this story is the respect Hurston has for the black people in her story. She shows this by the respect she gives the beliefs of the people even when it is something that the white population would laugh at.

Who would find this story interesting?

This is a good read and for fans of supernatural stories, this is a story you will want to read.

More discussions of Hurston's short stories.