Friday, February 22, 2008

Alice Walker

written by Brittany Michels

Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944. She is known for being an American author and feminist. Her most popular book was her nationally acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize-winning book, called The Color Purple. She was the first African American woman to win this award. The book was a semi-autobiography of her life and also spoke of her struggle with Lyme disease.

Alice was born, the eighth child of sharecroppers, in Eatonton, Georgia. She has many lineages. At a young age, she was blinded in one of her eyes by her brother's BB gun shot. Her experiences growing up showed her that life is full of fluidity and is ever-changing. She saw that there was freedom and began to fight to see that she could have it.

In 1965, Walker graduated from College. She had attended both Spelman College, in Atlanta, as well as Sarah Lawrence College, in New York. After graduation, she moved to Mississippi and became involved in voter registration drives, campaigns for welfare rights, and children's programs. She later married a Jewish civil rights lawyer and became the first legally-married inter-racial couple in Mississippi. This followed harrassment and threats. She also had a daughter in 1969, but divorced eight years later.

While Walker stopped writing when she was working in Mississippi, she resumed when she joined Ms. Magazine in the late 1970s. She moved to northern California at that time. She had much success with book writing from that point on. Her first book of poetry, though, was written while she was a senior in College.

Her works focused primarily on the African American woman's struggle in a racist and patriarchal society. She is respected by many because of her support of unpopular views.

In 2006, she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.


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