Zora Neale Hurston quotes are mostly compilations from her books that reflect her thoughts and art. She did say other things outside of her books but she used that medium to express herself. Other activists who were writers include Maya Angelou and James Baldwin. The pen was the weapon and the paper their mediator to mankind.
Zora Neale Hurston was an American activist, author, filmmaker, and anthropologist. She was known for her many novels some of which were criticized by some. She has often been compared to Martin Luthr King Jr. for her approach to racism. She fought for the rights of her people, most notable is the Harlem Renaissance time period in the 1920s to 1930s. Below are a number of her quotes.
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
“I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.”
“Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
“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.”
“If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don't keer if you die at dusk. It's so many people never seen de light at all.”
“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
“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."
“I have known the joy and pain of friendship. I have served and been served. I have made some good enemies for which I am not a bit sorry. I have loved unselfishly, and I have fondled hatred with the red-hot tongs of Hell. That's living.”
“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”
“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.”
“She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.”
“All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.”
“When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another.”
“Bitterness is the coward's revenge on the world for having been hurt.”
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
“Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.”
“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.”
“There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.”
“It is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands . . . They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against cruel walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”
“No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.”
“She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.”
“She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.”
“She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.”
“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 made up my mind to keep my feelings to myself since they did not seem to matter to anyone else but me.”
“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.”
“She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.”
“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.”
“Of course he wasn't dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
“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.”
“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.”
“An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.”
“Love, I find, is like singing.”
“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.”
“You heard me. You ain't blind.”
“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."
“I had hundreds of books under my skin already. Not selected reading, all of it. Some of it could be called trashy. I had been through Nick Carter, Horatio Alger, Bertha M. Clay and the whole slew of dime novelists in addition to some really constructive reading. I do not regret the trash. It has harmed me in no way. It was a help, because acquiring the reading habit early is the important thing. Taste and natural development will take care of the rest later on.”
“There is nothing to make you like other human beings so much as doing things for them."
"She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.”
"My head was full of misty fumes of doubt.”
"Mystery is the essence of divinity.”
“I don't know any more about the future than you do. I hope that it will be full of work, because I have come to know by experience that work is the nearest thing to happiness that I can find. . . I want a busy life, a just mind and a timely death.”
“Perhaps it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself 'Why?' afterward than before. Anyway, the force of somewhere in space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”
“Night came walking through Egypt swishing her black dress.”
Zora Neale Hurston quotes are the reflections of a woman who loved people and wanted to see a better life for her own people. I hope that despite any struggles you might face you will keep fighting and being inspired to live to make the world a better place.