In the fall of 1942, Zora Neale Hurston returned to Saint Augustine. She had come to “this city because it [was] a quiet place to sit down and write.“1 By January 1943, she had moved to Daytona Beach. Her brief stay in Saint Augustine was eventful. She finished revising Dust Trucks on a Road and J. B. Lippincott published it in November. Simultaneously, Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings established a “close friendship.“2 Hurston’s relations, however, were less cordial with William Gray, Jr., the newly appointed president of Florida Normal and Industrial Institute. She let it be known that she considered Gray an “insignificant squirt” who happened to be “president of one of the most insignificant schools in the world.“3 Her criticisms increasingly focused on Gray’s treatment of the African American students enrolled in the Fourth Army Signal Corps program, located at Florida Normal.
"Hurston Goes to War: The Army Signal Corps in Saint Augustine,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 74:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol74/iss2/7