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50 Zora Neale Hurston Quotes on Love and Writing

zora neale hurston quotes

Our latest collection of Zora Neale Hurston quotes on Everyday Power Blog.

Zora Neale Hurston was an influential writer and folklorist who is best known for her popular novels and for the contribution she made to the ‘Harlem Renaissance.’

zora neale hurston quotes

One of the most important black writers in American history, Hurston was involved with African American rights and used her talent as a writer to portray racial struggles.

Hurston was born in Alabama in 1891, and moved to Eatonville, Florida, with her family as a young child. Although she achieved great fame in her lifetime, Hurston died in poverty in 1960. But despite not getting the credit she deserved when she was alive, a revival of interest led to a posthumous recognition of her achievements.

Before we move onto the quotes, here are some of Hurston’s popular books.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Barracoon
  • Mules and Men
  • Jonah’s Gourd Vine
  • Moses, Man of the Mountain
  • Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica
  • Every Tongue Got to Confess

As someone who used her talent to inspire a positive difference in society, Hurston clearly tapped into her Everyday Power. To honor her,  here are some inspirational Zora Neale Hurston quotes on love, life, and writing.


Zora Neale Hurston quotes on love and writing


1.) “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston quotes on life


2.) “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


3.) “The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


4.) “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


5.) “I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


6.) “If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterward than before … There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


7.) “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


8.) “Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


9.) “When one is too old for love, one finds great comfort in good dinners.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


10.) “I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


Insightful Zora Neale Hurston quotes


11.) “A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


12.) “Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


13.) “The man who interprets Nature is always held in great honor.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


14.) “Once you wake up thought in a man, you can never put it to sleep again.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


15.) “Happiness is nothing but everyday living seen through a veil.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale hurston quotes on everyday living


16.) “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


17.) “Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


18.) “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


19.) “It was not death she feared. It was a misunderstanding.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


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


Zora Neale Hurston quotes


21.) “I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”  ― Zora Neale Hurston


22.) “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


23.) “No man may make another free.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


Zora Neale hurston quotes on life


24.) “An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


25.) “Everybody has some special road of thought along which they travel when they are alone to themselves. And his road of thought is what makes every man what he is.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


26.) “She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


27.) “Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


28.) “My eyes and my mind keep taking me where my old legs can’t keep up.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


29.) “She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


30.) “Learning without wisdom is a load of books on a donkey’s back.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


Inspirational Zora Neale Hurston quotes


31.) “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


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


33.) “Bitterness is the coward’s revenge on the world for having been hurt.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


34.) “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


35.) “I want a busy life, a just mind, and a timely death.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


36.) “I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


37.) “Such as I am, I am a precious gift.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale quotes on being precious


38.) “I belong to no race nor time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


39.) “Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves. It fails to register depression with me.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


40.) “Lack of power and opportunity passes off too often for virtue.”  ― Zora Neale Hurston


Other popular Zora Neale Hurston quotes


41.) “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


42.) “Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


43.) “Trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.” – Zora Neale Hurston


44.) “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


45.) “They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale quotes on God


46.) “There is something about poverty that smells like death.” – Zora Neale Hurston


47.) “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


48.) “You got to go there to know there.” ― Zora Neale Hurston


49.) “Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!” ― Zora Neale Hurston


50.) “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


How did you find these Zora Neale Hurston quotes?


Although Hurston was unable to capture a mainstream audience in her lifetime, she inspired the civil rights movement and is remembered as one of the most influential black writers in American history.

Hurston’s works are now getting the recognition they deserve and can provide great inspiration for when fighting for your rights, your freedom or even your acceptance in society.  Hopefully, these quotes have motivated you and made your day better.

Did you enjoy these Zora Neale Hurston quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? We would love to hear all about it in the comment section below.

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  1. Avatar

    John Davidek

    April 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I have found her quotes inspirational. She was talented. To die in such an obscure way just isn’t right. Surely dying without a headstone is beyond belief. I was a senior in high school (St. Anastasia Catholic School) in 1960. Zora died in the same year in Fort Pierce, Florida. I remember seeing the “colored” part of town from the third floor of my school. It was across the way…a totally different part of my world. I feel a sort affinity for Zora…there is something there for me to feel attached to her. My wish is to find the cemetery where she is buried. I want to go there and pray for her. Her life means a great deal to me. Why is she not known more widely? Does she have a headstone that depicts her life? These are questions that I ask myself. Thank you Zora for being part of my life. -John Davidek

  2. Avatar


    December 3, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    You have to get there to know there

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