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94 Zora Neale Hurston Quotes That Will Make Your Day!

Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Born On: January 7, 1891
Died On: January 28, 1960
Born In: Notasulga
Founder / Co Founder: The Hilltop
Died At Age: 69

Anthropologist, folklorist and short story writer Zora Neale Hurston was a major contributor to 'Harlem Renaissance', which was later known as 'New Negro Movement'. The famous American novelist published around 50 essays, plays and stories covering personal experiences and incidents. She was renowned for 'Mules and Men', 'Their Eyes were Watching God' and her master work 'Every Tongue Got to Confess' (a vivid collection of folktales). Zora Neale Hurston's life was influenced by her American-African heritage. Being a daughter of former black slaves, Hurston's childhood was full of struggles. She's a self-made author, who financed her own education. After working several petty jobs, she got her biggest breakthrough from Journal of American Folklore. She had explored various forms of fine arts through projects like Mule-Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life. Her literary talents are evident from her works "The Great Day", "From Sun to Sun" and autobiography "Dust Tracks on a Road". In 1940s, she had to bear false accusations of molesting a 10-year old body. She suffered from severe strokes and underwent financial challenges till her death. Despite this, Zora's works inspired and encouraged a new generation of writers with her academic and social experience. She greatly influenced young talents like Ralph Ellison and Gayl Jones in later years. Her work was largely overlooked until writer Alice Walker brought it back to the spotlight. We all remember her beautiful words and their impact. We have collected her quotes from her writings and books. Here are a few of her quotes that hit us right in the heart, every single time.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.

Zora Neale Hurston
I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.

I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.

Zora Neale Hurston
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.

Zora Neale Hurston
If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.

If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.

Zora Neale Hurston
Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.

Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.

Zora Neale Hurston
Love is like the sea. It's a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.

Love is like the sea. It's a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.

Zora Neale Hurston
Bitterness is the coward's revenge on the world for having been hurt.

Bitterness is the coward's revenge on the world for having been hurt.

Zora Neale Hurston
Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.

Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.

Zora Neale Hurston
She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.

She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.

Zora Neale Hurston
Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.

Zora Neale Hurston
Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Zora Neale Hurston
No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.

No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.

Zora Neale Hurston
She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.

She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.

Zora Neale Hurston
A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.

A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.

Zora Neale Hurston
I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions.

I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions.

Zora Neale Hurston
I made up my mind to keep my feelings to myself since they did not seem to matter to anyone else but me.

I made up my mind to keep my feelings to myself since they did not seem to matter to anyone else but me.

Zora Neale Hurston
She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.

She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.

Zora Neale Hurston
She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.

She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.

Zora Neale Hurston
So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.

So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.

Zora Neale Hurston
Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

Zora Neale Hurston
They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

Zora Neale Hurston
It was the meanest moment of eternity.

It was the meanest moment of eternity.

Zora Neale Hurston
Love, I find, is like singing.

Love, I find, is like singing.

Zora Neale Hurston
I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.

I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.

Zora Neale Hurston
...she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see...

...she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see...

Zora Neale Hurston
There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man's spice-box seasons his own food.

There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man's spice-box seasons his own food.

Zora Neale Hurston
If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.

If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.

Zora Neale Hurston
An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.

An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.

Zora Neale Hurston
Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.

Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.

Zora Neale Hurston
Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at the sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at the sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.

Zora Neale Hurston
You heard me. You ain't blind.

You heard me. You ain't blind.

Zora Neale Hurston
Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!

Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!

Zora Neale Hurston
He looked like the love thoughts of women.

He looked like the love thoughts of women.

Zora Neale Hurston
It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.

It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.

Zora Neale Hurston
Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person.

Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person.

Zora Neale Hurston
Please God, please suh, don't let him love nobody else but me. Maybe Ah'm is uh fool, Lawd, lak dey say, but Lawd, Ah been so lonesome, and Ah been waitin', Jesus. Ah done waited uh long time.

Please God, please suh, don't let him love nobody else but me. Maybe Ah'm is uh fool, Lawd, lak dey say, but Lawd, Ah been so lonesome, and Ah been waitin', Jesus. Ah done waited uh long time.

Zora Neale Hurston
Grown people know that they do not always know the way of things, and even if they think they know, they do not know where and how they got the proof.

Grown people know that they do not always know the way of things, and even if they think they know, they do not know where and how they got the proof.

Zora Neale Hurston
You'se something tuh make uh man forgit to git old and forgit tuh die.

You'se something tuh make uh man forgit to git old and forgit tuh die.

Zora Neale Hurston
There is nothing to make you like other human beings so much as doing things for them.

There is nothing to make you like other human beings so much as doing things for them.

Zora Neale Hurston
Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches

Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches

Zora Neale Hurston
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.

Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.

Zora Neale Hurston
It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.

It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.

Zora Neale Hurston
She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.

She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.

Zora Neale Hurston
And I can't die easy thinking maybe the menfolks white or black is making a spit cup out of you. Have some sympathy for me. Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.

And I can't die easy thinking maybe the menfolks white or black is making a spit cup out of you. Have some sympathy for me. Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.

Zora Neale Hurston
He was the average mortal. It troubled him to get used to the world one way and then suddenly have it turn different.

He was the average mortal. It troubled him to get used to the world one way and then suddenly have it turn different.

Zora Neale Hurston
My head was full of misty fumes of doubt.

My head was full of misty fumes of doubt.

Zora Neale Hurston
Mystery is the essence of divinity

Mystery is the essence of divinity

Zora Neale Hurston
Look lak she been livin' through uh hundred years in January without one day of spring.

Look lak she been livin' through uh hundred years in January without one day of spring.

Zora Neale Hurston
The sun had become a light yellow yolk and was walking with red legs across the sky.

The sun had become a light yellow yolk and was walking with red legs across the sky.

Zora Neale Hurston
Anytime you catch folks lying, they scared of something!

Anytime you catch folks lying, they scared of something!

Zora Neale Hurston
My sense of humor will always stand in the way of my seeing myself, my family, my race or my nation as the whole intent of the universe.

My sense of humor will always stand in the way of my seeing myself, my family, my race or my nation as the whole intent of the universe.

Zora Neale Hurston
She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.

She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.

Zora Neale Hurston
I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her.

I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her.

Zora Neale Hurston
There is two things everybody got to find out for theirselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living.

There is two things everybody got to find out for theirselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living.

Zora Neale Hurston
No, I do not weep at the world. I'm too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

No, I do not weep at the world. I'm too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

Zora Neale Hurston
In the cool afternoon the fiend from hell specifically sent to lovers arrived at Janie's ear. Doubt.

In the cool afternoon the fiend from hell specifically sent to lovers arrived at Janie's ear. Doubt.

Zora Neale Hurston
People can be slave ships in shoes.

People can be slave ships in shoes.

Zora Neale Hurston
The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.

The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.

Zora Neale Hurston
One finds great comfort in good dinners

One finds great comfort in good dinners

Zora Neale Hurston
Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

Zora Neale Hurston
Night came walking through Egypt swishing her black dress.

Night came walking through Egypt swishing her black dress.

Zora Neale Hurston
It seems that tears and laughter, love and hate, make up the sum of life!

It seems that tears and laughter, love and hate, make up the sum of life!

Zora Neale Hurston
It is one of the blessings of this world that few people see visions and dream dreams.

It is one of the blessings of this world that few people see visions and dream dreams.

Zora Neale Hurston
Truth is a letter from courage!

Truth is a letter from courage!

Zora Neale Hurston
When one is too old for love, one finds great comfort in good dinners.

When one is too old for love, one finds great comfort in good dinners.

Zora Neale Hurston
They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.

They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.

Zora Neale Hurston
So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time.

So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time.

Zora Neale Hurston
The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor.

The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor.

Zora Neale Hurston
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.

Zora Neale Hurston
You can't beat me and my prayers!

You can't beat me and my prayers!

Zora Neale Hurston
She wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.

She wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.

Zora Neale Hurston
Every morning the world flung itself over and exposed the town to the sun.

Every morning the world flung itself over and exposed the town to the sun.

Zora Neale Hurston
Every tub sits on its bottom.

Every tub sits on its bottom.

Zora Neale Hurston
I would like just a little of her sunshine to soak into my soul. I would like that a lot.

I would like just a little of her sunshine to soak into my soul. I would like that a lot.

Zora Neale Hurston
Perhaps I am just a coward who loves to laugh at life better than I do cry with it. But when I do get to crying, boy, I can roll a mean tear.

Perhaps I am just a coward who loves to laugh at life better than I do cry with it. But when I do get to crying, boy, I can roll a mean tear.

Zora Neale Hurston
It was funny if you looked at it right quick, but it got pitiful if you thought about it awhile.

It was funny if you looked at it right quick, but it got pitiful if you thought about it awhile.

Zora Neale Hurston
...you got tuh go there tuh know there.

...you got tuh go there tuh know there.

Zora Neale Hurston
Lack of power and opportunity passes off too often for virtue.

Lack of power and opportunity passes off too often for virtue.

Zora Neale Hurston
Tea Cake, the son of the Evening Sun, had to die for loving her.

Tea Cake, the son of the Evening Sun, had to die for loving her.

Zora Neale Hurston
It seemed to me that the human beings I met reacted pretty much the same to the same stimuli. Different idioms,yes. Circumstances and conditions having power to influence, yes. Inherent difference, no.

It seemed to me that the human beings I met reacted pretty much the same to the same stimuli. Different idioms,yes. Circumstances and conditions having power to influence, yes. Inherent difference, no.

Zora Neale Hurston
An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done 'heard' bout you just what they hope done happened.

An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done 'heard' bout you just what they hope done happened.

Zora Neale Hurston
Anybody depending on somebody else's gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.

Anybody depending on somebody else's gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.

Zora Neale Hurston
...she woke up in time to see the sun sending up spies ahead of him to mark out the road through the dark. He peeped up over the door sill of the world and made a little foolishness with red.

...she woke up in time to see the sun sending up spies ahead of him to mark out the road through the dark. He peeped up over the door sill of the world and made a little foolishness with red.

Zora Neale Hurston
Being under my own roof, and my personality not invaded by others makes a lot of difference in my outlook on life and everything. Oh, to be once more alone in a house!

Being under my own roof, and my personality not invaded by others makes a lot of difference in my outlook on life and everything. Oh, to be once more alone in a house!

Zora Neale Hurston
But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate.

But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate.

Zora Neale Hurston
The varicolored cloud dust that the sun has stirred up in the sky was settling by slow degrees.

The varicolored cloud dust that the sun has stirred up in the sky was settling by slow degrees.

Zora Neale Hurston
Now, women forget all the things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

Now, women forget all the things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

Zora Neale Hurston
She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was all there. She took careful stock of herself, then combed her hair and tied it back up again.

She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was all there. She took careful stock of herself, then combed her hair and tied it back up again.

Zora Neale Hurston
So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

Zora Neale Hurston
Common danger made common friends

Common danger made common friends

Zora Neale Hurston
For the first time she could see a man's head naked of its skull. Saw the cunning thoughts race in and out through the caves and promontories of his mind long before they darted through the tunnel of his mouth.

For the first time she could see a man's head naked of its skull. Saw the cunning thoughts race in and out through the caves and promontories of his mind long before they darted through the tunnel of his mouth.

Zora Neale Hurston
Half Gods are worshipped with wine and Flowers. Real Gods require Blood.

Half Gods are worshipped with wine and Flowers. Real Gods require Blood.

Zora Neale Hurston
He Drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

He Drifted off into sleep and Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

Zora Neale Hurston