, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance
. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God
Hurston was the fifth of eight children of John Hurston and Lucy Ann Hurston (née Potts). Her father was a Baptist
, tenant farmer
, and carpenter
, and her mother was a school teacher. She was born in Notasulga, Alabama
in 1891 (Jan.
Ah done been in sorrow's kitchen and Ah done licked out all de pots. Ah done died in grief and been buried in de bitter waters, and Ah done rose agin from de dead lak Lazarus.
Gods always behave like the people who make them.
I am colored but I offer nothing in the way of extenuating circumstances except the fact that I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother's side was not an Indian chief.
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to that sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
"Well, Ah see Mouth-Almighty is still sittin' in de same place. And Ah reckon they got me up in they mouth now.""Yes indeed. You know if you pass some people and don't speak tuh suit 'em dey got tuh go way back in yo' life and see whut you ever done. They know mo' 'bout yuh than you do yo' self. They done 'heard' 'bout you just what they hope done happened.""If God don't think no mo' 'bout 'em than Ah do, they's a lost ball in de high grass."
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
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.