Zora Neale Hurston? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: Author Zora Neale Hurston was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Her robust self-confidence provided resilience when facing prejudice. Apparently, she wrote or said the following:
How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company!
Would you please help me to find a citation?
Quote Investigator: In 1928 Zora Neale Hurston published the essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” in the journal “The World Tomorrow”. The piece was reprinted in the “The Best American Essays of the Century” in 2000. Here is an excerpt: 1
I have no separate feeling about being an American citizen and colored. I am merely a fragment of the Great Soul that surges within the boundaries. My country, right or wrong.
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.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 2000, The Best American Essays of the Century, Edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan, Essay: How It Feels to Be Colored Me by Zora Neale Hurston, (First published in The World Tomorrow, May 1928), Start Page 114, Quote Page 117, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. (Verified with scans) ↩