Zora Neale Hurston (born January 7, 1891, Notasulga, Alabama) was an influential author of African-American literature and anthropologist, who portrayed racial struggles in the early 20th century American South, and published research on Haitian voodoo. Her work in anthropology examined black folklore. Hurston influenced many writers, forever cementing her place in history as one of the foremost female writers of the 20th century. She passed away on January 28, 1960, Fort Pierce, Florida. Below are some of her more popular quotes.

29 Quotes from Zora Neale Hurston

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

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

~ Zora Neale Hurston


Once you wake up thought in a man, you can never put it to sleep again. - Zora Neale Hurston

“Once you wake up thought in a man, you can never put it to sleep again.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

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

~ 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. - 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.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

“It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


There are years that ask questions and years that answer. - Zora Neale Hurston

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

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

~ Zora Neale Hurston


I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. - Zora Neale Hurston

“I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

~ 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.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

“Bitterness is the coward’s revenge on the world for having been hurt.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. - Zora Neale Hurston

“Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


It's a funny thing, the less people have to live for, the less nerve they have to risk losing nothing. - Zora Neale Hurston

“It’s a funny thing, the less people have to live for, the less nerve they have to risk losing nothing.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


I love myself when I am laughing. - Zora Neale Hurston

“I love myself when I am laughing.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


“I am the kind of a woman that likes to move on mentally from point to point, and I like for my man to be there way ahead of me. Then if he is strong and honest, it goes on from there. Good looks are not essential, just extra added attraction.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

“Anybody depending on somebody else’s gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


It seems like the first law of Nature is that everybody likes to receive things, but nobody likes to feel grateful. - Zora Neale Hurston

“It seems like the first law of Nature is that everybody likes to receive things, but nobody likes to feel grateful.”

~ 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.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much. - Zora Neale Hurston

“Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


Slogans can be worse than swords if they are only put in the right mouths. - Zora Neale Hurston

“Slogans can be worse than swords if they are only put in the right mouths.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


It is a curious thing to be a woman in the Caribbean after you have been a woman in these United States. - Zora Neale Hurston

“It is a curious thing to be a woman in the Caribbean after you have been a woman in these United States.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


No man may make another free. - Zora Neale Hurston

“No man may make another free.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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

“Love, I find, is like singing.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you. - Zora Neale Hurston

“No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


The sun, the hero of every day, the impersonal old man that beams as brightly on death as on birth, came up every morning. - Zora Neale Hurston

“The sun, the hero of every day, the impersonal old man that beams as brightly on death as on birth, came up every morning.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear, and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. - Zora Neale Hurston

“Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear, and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. - Zora Neale Hurston

“I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


“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


I hold that any religion that satisfies the individual urge is valid for that person. - Zora Neale Hurston

“I hold that any religion that satisfies the individual urge is valid for that person.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump. - Zora Neale Hurston

“I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump.”

~ Zora Neale Hurston


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