Deborah G. Plant is an African American and Africana Studies scholar and literary critic whose special interest is the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston. She is editor of the recently published book Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” a New York Times Bestseller, by Zora Neale Hurston. She is author of Alice Walker: A Woman for Our Times (2017), a philosophical biography of Alice Walker. She is also editor of The Inside Light: New Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston (2010); and author of Zora Neale Hurston: A Biography of the Spirit (2007) and Every Tub Must Sit On Its Own Bottom: The Philosophy and Politics of Zora Neale Hurston (1995).
She holds a BA in Fine Arts from Southern University (Baton Rouge), an MA in French from Atlanta University, and MA and Ph. D. degrees in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was instrumental in founding the University of South Florida Department of Africana Studies, and in the development of the department’s graduate program, and chaired the department for five years. Plant currently resides in Tampa, Florida, and continues her research and writing as an Independent Scholar.