Zora Neale Hurston is a beautiful storyteller. Her novels, "Of Mule and Men" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" are classics and she inspired many contemporary writers. Paul Laurence Dunbar, with Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Jean Toomer are iconic writers who capture the reality of Blackness in the early to mid-20th century. Their poetry and stories speak to me as a Black Man, Husband, Father and Child.
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They make me proud, fill me with courage and make me laugh at how real they are to me and my personal experience. Emil Brunner, Walter Bruggeman spoke beautifully about theological and "Biblical" ideals that now form the substance of my theological presuppositions as a practicing follower of the way of Jesus Christ.
The awe-inspiring wisdom, insight and mystically enchanting writing of Dr. Thurman and Heschel are arresting and demand more of me as a writer and a thinker. Their writings soar and give the reader wings to soar with them. I would like to mention another writer who is not American, but Russian, Nicholas Berdyaev. His translated works are a real gift to the thinker. These writers above all others I could discuss here force me to aspire to write better, to study my craft and to hone my prose and poetry alike.
I hope for you that there are writers and thinkers in the world, past and present who inspire you, comfort you and challenge you to communicate best.
Reading these writers is like eating my favorite dish, I eat to my fill, but don't stop when my hunger is sated, because the meal tastes sooo good!