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Lucy Anne Hurston, a distinguished sociologist, will be the College’s first external commencement speaker since 1999

Lucy Anne Hurston, acclaimed sociologist, biographer, ethnographer, professor and niece of major 20th century writer Zora Neale Hurston, will deliver the keynote address at Massasoit Community College’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony. Hurston, who is also the sociology department chair at Manchester Community College, has spent her life as an educator and compiled a detailed knowledge of her aunt’s life and work with an historian’s observant eye.

Hurston is the author of “Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.” The work consists of text, photographs, and various pieces of memorabilia related to Zora Neale Hurston’s life. Zora was raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black community to be incorporated into the United States. She was a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s as a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, travel writer, and leading scholar of African American folklore. Zora’s work drew heavily on her anthropology training, and her most famous novel, the 1937 “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” is required reading in high schools and colleges throughout the country.   

Lucy Anne Hurston’s own work as an academic sociologist, with field research in Jamaica and St. Kitts, provides her with a unique connection to her aunt’s perspective and life. She has taught at Manchester Community College for more than 20 years, covering sociology to social inequality and contemporary social issues. Lucy received her associate degree from Manchester Community College, her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Central Connecticut State University, and her master’s in sociology from The Ohio State University.

“Lucy is a gifted educator and sociologist, and it will be a privilege to have her speak at Massasoit’s 2019 Commencement,” said Dr. Gena Glickman, president of Massasoit Community College. “Her dedication to teaching, community engagement, and service learning opportunities for students, along with her commitment to passing on the rich history of her family and her encouragement of continuous learning are all messages that will resonate with our students.” 

Massasoit’s 52nd Commencement will be held on May 31, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., in the tent next to the Asiaf Field House on the Brockton Campus.