Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, GA in 1944 and is probably best known for her novel, The Color Purple. She has also been recognized as a civil rights and women’s rights activist.
Walker was the youngest of eight children born to sharecroppers. She was in school before integration and attended Spelman College before transferring to Sarah Lawrence College. She went on to work as a social worker, teacher, and a lecturer. She also shared her experiences and knowledge in the forms of novels and poetry.
Over time, Walker has proven to be an activist not just for groups to which she belongs. She has also published works exemplifying other struggles in the world, such as genital mutilation and the crisis in Rwanda. Her dedication to all people is incredible, empowering, and somewhat freeing.
The Color Purple changed my life. I saw the movie before I read the book at a young age, I didn’t understand why Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey’s characters went through so much trouble, but I felt their pain. This carried with me as I got older and learned more, I always wanted to know what pain was felt by those who walked this earth before me so I could pay them proper respects. After all, that’s what Black History is really about. It isn’t about raising up the people who made sacrifices or strides; it’s about understanding what (all of) our ancestors felt and dealt with and recognizing that we haven’t forgotten what they did for us. Thank you Alice Walker.
Also, thank you for all of you who have read and grown with me this Black History Month.