Zora Neale Hurston was one of the great talents of the Harlem Renaissance - but had to work as a manicurist to support herself.

Even though she went to Howard University and was an accomplished author and anthropologist, she could not make a living from her writings. Her works include short stories, novels, anthropological folklore, an autobiography and at least one play.

Hurston died in a welfare home in 1960 and is buried in an unmarked grave. However, the power of her imagery and the richness of the culture which come to life in her works, have found her enthusiastic new audiences in recent years.

Today, there are 122-thousand people who make their living as authors -- 5 percent of them African American.

This profile is adapted from Profile America, a radio series produced by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2004.