Alice Malsenior Walker is an African American author born on February 9, 1944 in Eaton Georgia. She is the eighth and last child of Willie Lee and Minnie Lou Grant, who were sharecroppers. When Alice Walker was eight year's old she lost sight of one eye when one of her older brothers shot her with a BB gun by accident. She attended Spelman College, a prominent school for black women in Atlanta, Georgia. During the two years she attended at Spelman she became active in the civil rights movement. She then transferred to Lawrence College in New York. There she continued her studies and active involvement in civil rights .In 1962 she was invited to the home of Martin Luther King Jr. in recognition of her attendance at the Youth World Peace Festival in Finland. Walker also registered black voters in Liberty County Georgia, and later worked for the New York City Department of Welfare.
Two years after receiving her B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence in 1965, Walker married Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, a white civil rights attorney. They lived in Jackson, Mississippi, where Walker worked as the black history consultant for a Head Start program. She also served as the writer-in-residence for Jackson State College (later Jackson State University) and Tougaloo College. She completed her first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, in 1969, the same year that her daughter, Rebecca Grant, was born. When her marriage to Leventhal ended in 1977, Walker moved to northern California, where she lives and writes today.
Still living today, and is known as one the of the most admired African American writers. Alice Walker's early poems, novels and short stories dealt with rape, violence, isolation, troubled relationships, multi-generational perspectives, sexism and racism. She is most likely best known as the author of the Color Purple. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1983.
I had heard of the name Alice Walker, but could not of told you what she did or who she was. However I have saw the movie The Color Purple, but did not know that she was the author of the book. I can't say that I enjoyed the movie in it self, but I think the message it sends out needs to be heard and known. I think it gave women who have been abused, shy, misunderstood all their childhood (like she was), or simply just scared it gives those children or adult women to believe that there is hope. The movie is very empowering, and knowing now that she was the author makes me want to read more of her books. She set out to let the voices of women be heard, and I believe she is still doing a great job at it today. Especially being active in the civil rights movement her speaking out through her writing may have been an inspiration for other women of color who were oppressed at that time. She did not care that she was criticized for some of her writing, she just kept moving forward.
Resources for further study:
In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973)
You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories (1982)
The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2000)
To Hell with Dying (1988)
Finding the Green Stone (1991)