Zora Neale Hurston: Quotes and Life Lessons

Zora Neale Hurston (1891 – 1960), the American novelist, essayist, anthropologist, and folklorist, was well known during the Harlem Renaissance. With much to say about life, love, and writing, we’ll explore some typically exuberant and wise Zora Neale Hurston quotes and life lessons.

In her fiction and nonfiction she spun out a plethora of inspiring, quotable text that belied the hardships she endured throughout the course of her career.

Her most influential work is Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), though most all of her other works have been revived after having been virtually forgotten.

An outspoken, outstanding figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement, Zora displayed great style, loved to laugh, and had great pride in the Black race. Her work reflected her values, though beneath her joyous exterior, there was constant struggle, including three failed marriages and never enough money.

In the course of her lifetime, Zora’s reputation began to decline. Though her books sold fairly well, and had many admirers, they had their equal share of detractors. Some Black writers objected to her use of dialect. Other contemporaries were troubled by her political conservatism.

By the time she died in obscurity in 1960, she had been virtually forgotten. Fortunately, author Alice Walker played an instrumental role in reviving Hurston’s reputation. In 1973, she placed a marker at the spot where Zora was believed to be buried in an unmarked grave. The stone reads, “Zora Neale Hurston, A Genius of the South.”

Zora’s books are now read and studied far more even than they were during her lifetime, and have become staples of American literature and women’s studies courses. 

. Read More→