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Wed, 02.09.1944

Alice Walker, Author born

Alice Walker

*This date marks the birth of Alice Walker in 1944. She is a Black lesbian and bisexual woman, author, speaker, and poet.

Born Alice Malsenior Walker in Eatonton, Georgia, she was educated at Spelman and Sarah Lawrence colleges. Walker is responsible for several writings. Most of her material portrays the lives of poor, oppressed African American women in the early 1900s.

The Third Life of Grange Copeland 1970 is about the emotional growth of an African American man. Meridian 1976 follows the life of an African American woman during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  She married activist Melvyn Leventhal in 1967. The couple had one daughter, Rebecca Walker, before divorcing in 1976.  She won the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for her best-known work, the novel The Color Purple 1982.

Possessing the Secret of Joy 1992 explores the tradition of female circumcision still practiced in some parts of Africa. By the Light of My Father’s Smile 1998, depicts a Christian missionary family, focusing on the relationship between the father and the three daughters and the relationship between Christianity and the spiritual traditions of the African community in which the family lives. Walker’s volumes of poetry include Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems 1973 and Goodnight, Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning 1979.

Her nonfiction works include the essay collections In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose 1983, Living by the Word 1988, The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (essays) 1996, and Anything We Love Can Be Saved 1997. In 2004, Walker published her first book in six years, "Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart."

Two years later, in 2006, she published a collection of essays, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For Light in a Time of Darkness, and the well-received picture book There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me.

Continuing her work as a political activist, Walker also wrote about her experiences with Women for Women International in the 2010s, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel. That same year, she published another poetry collection, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.

After more than four decades as a writer, Alice Walker shows no signs of slowing down. In 2012, she released The Chicken Chronicles; in this latest memoir, she meditates on caring for her flock of chickens. Following the release of The Chicken Chronicles, she began working on The Cushion in the Road, a collection of meditations on various subjects published in 2013.

Walker has been a longtime sponsor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In early 2015, she wrote: "So I think of any movement for peace and justice as something that is about stabilizing our inner spirit so that we can go on and bring into the world a vision that is much more humane than the one we have dominant today."

In 2018, Walker was asked by an interviewer from The New York Times Book Review, "What books are on your nightstand?" She listed Icke's And the Truth Shall Set You Free, a book promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory that draws on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and queries the Holocaust. Walker said: "In Icke’s books, there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true." Walker defended her admiration for Icke and his book, saying, "I do not believe he is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish.” According to multiple sources, Walker will not allow The Color Purple to be published in Hebrew.

To be a Writer


Alice Walkers

Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

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