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Zora Neale Hurston Quotes on Love and Writing

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.’

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.

Don’t forget to also read our compilation of insightful writing quotes that will get you writing your story.

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

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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

You might also like these thought-provoking Margaret Mead quotes challenging societal stereotypes.

Zora Neale Hurston quotes to motivate you

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

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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

Thought-provoking Zora Neale Hurston quotes

51. “Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!” –
Zora Neale Hurston

52. “It is easy to be hopeful in the day when you can see the things you wish on.” – Zora Neale Hurston

53. “Silence is all the genius a fool has.” – Zora Neale Hurston

54. “Distance is the only cure for certain diseases.” – Zora Neale Hurston

55. “Anytime you catch folks lying, they scared of something!” – Zora Neale Hurston

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56. “It seems that tears and laughter, love and hate, make up the sum of life!” – Zora Neale Hurston

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

58. “Work is the nearest thing to happiness that I can find.” – Zora Neale Hurston

59. “No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.” – Zora Neale Hurston

60. “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 might also like these Edgar Allan Poe quotes on beauty, dreams, and madness.

More Zora Neale Hurston quotes

61. “Common danger made common friends.” – Zora Neale Hurston

62. “So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.” – Zora Neale Hurston

63. “Life, inexhaustible, goes on. And we do too. Carrying our wounds and our medicines as we go.” – Zora Neale Hurston

64. “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

65. “There are two things everybody got to find out for themselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living.” – Zora Neale Hurston

66. “A woman robbed of her love is more terrible than an army with banners.” – Zora Neale Hurston

67. “Mystery is the essence of divinity.” – Zora Neale Hurston

68. “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

69. “Truth is a letter from courage!” – Zora Neale Hurston

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

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. 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. Matona

    December 3, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    You have to get there to know there

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