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Alice Walker

Introduction

❶Walker prefers a plain, unaffected diction and moderately open forms which permit her to reveal homespun truths of human behavior and emotion, and sing quietly of love for family, friends, other black people:. They lived in Jackson, Mississippi, where Walker worked as the black history consultant for a Head Start program.

Alice Walker American Literature Analysis

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The novel explores the life of Grange Copeland, an abusive, irresponsible sharecropper, husband and father. In , before becoming editor of Ms. Hunt discovered an unmarked grave they thought was Hurston's in Ft. Magazine , helped revive interest in the work of this African-American writer and anthropologist.

In , Walker's second novel, Meridian , was published. Meridian is a novel about activist workers in the South, during the civil rights movement , with events that closely parallel some of Walker's own experiences.

In , she published what has become her best-known work, The Color Purple. The novel follows a young, troubled black woman fighting her way through not just racist white culture but patriarchal black culture as well.

The book became a bestseller and was subsequently adapted into a critically acclaimed movie directed by Steven Spielberg , featuring Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg , as well as a Broadway musical totaling performances. Walker has written several other novels, including The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy which featured several characters and descendants of characters from The Color Purple. She has published a number of collections of short stories, poetry, and other writings.

Her work is focused on the struggles of black people, particularly women, and their lives in a racist , sexist , and violent society. Walker is a leading figure in liberal politics. In , Walker released a collection of short fiction based on her own life called The Way Forward Is With a Broken Heart, exploring love and race relations.

In this book, Walker detailes her interracial marriage to Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal , a civil rights attorney who was also working in Mississippi. The Third Wave Foundation , an activist fund, was founded with the help of Rebecca. Magazine , Gloria Steinem. In , Walker donated her papers, consisting of boxes of manuscripts and archive material, to Emory University 's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

The collection also contains a scrapbook of poetry compiled when Walker was 15, entitled "Poems of a Childhood Poetess. Walker met Martin Luther King Jr. She took part in the March on Washington. Later, she volunteered to register black voters in Georgia and Mississippi. On March 8, , International Women's Day , on the eve of the Iraq War , Walker was arrested with 26 others, including fellow authors Maxine Hong Kingston and Terry Tempest Williams , at a protest outside the White House , for crossing a police line during an anti-war rally.

Walker's feminism specifically included advocacy of women of color. In , Walker coined the term " womanist " to mean "A black feminist or feminist of color. She said, "'Womanism' gives us a word of our own. In January , she was one of over 50 signatories of a letter protesting the Toronto International Film Festival 's "City to City" spotlight on Israeli filmmakers, and condemning Israel as an " apartheid regime.

Two months later, Walker and 60 other female activists from the anti-war group Code Pink traveled to Gaza in response to the Gaza War. Their purpose was to deliver aid, to meet with NGOs and residents, and to persuade Israel and Egypt to open their borders with Gaza. On June 23, , she announced plans to participate in an aid flotilla to Gaza that attempted to break Israel's naval blockade. Dershowitz said, by participating in the flotilla to evade the blockade , she was "provid[ing] material support for terrorism.

Walker is a judge member of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. She supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Also in May of , Walker expressed appreciation for the works of conspiracy theorist David Icke. Jonathan Kay of the National Post described the book as "hateful, hallucinogenic nonsense.

In June , Walker and others appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning , an American soldier imprisoned for releasing classified information. They were married on March 17, , in New York City. Later that year the couple relocated to Jackson, Mississippi , becoming the first legally married interracial couple in Mississippi.

Walker and her husband divorced in In the late s Walker moved to northern California. She and fellow writer Robert L. Allen founded it in In the mids, Walker was involved in a romance with singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman , saying "It was delicious and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was not anybody's business but ours.

Walker's spirituality has also played a great role in her personal life, and influenced some of her most famous novels, like The Color Purple. Walker's exploration of religion in much of her writing was greatly inspired by other writers such as Zora Neal Hurston. Some literary critics, such as Alma Freeman, have even said that Walker perceived her as a spiritual sister. This was something years ago. It took me back to the way that I naturally was as a child growing up way in the country, rarely seeing people.

I was in that state of oneness with creation and it was as if I didn't exist except as a part of everything. In honor of her mother, Minnie Tallulah Grant, and paternal grandmother, Walker legally added "Tallulah Kate" to her name in Beauty in Truth is a documentary film about Walker directed by Pratibha Parmar.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 13 September For the British Olympic fencer, see Alice Walker fencer. A Writer's Activism Go Girl!: When the Other Dancer is the Self" Walker won the award for hardcover fiction.

Retrieved January 18, Retrieved March 15, Past winners and finalists by category. Retrieved March 17, Greenwood Press, , https: From Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison. The crisis of trying to save a drowning white woman, only to have her refuse his hand because it is black, proved a pivotal point for Grange.

Purged from the old, defining victimization, Grange chooses sanctuary from white people and a self-determined life. He marries Josie, buys a farm, and vows to give Ruth a nurturing environment away from white people and the violence born of frustration. Ruth matures into an independent young woman who, having been sheltered by Grange, does not share his bitterness toward society.

Through the media and the local activities of civil rights workers, Ruth comes to believe in the possibility of social change. Grange and Ruth escape to the farm, where Grange prepares to defend his autonomy to the death.

Educated, self-reliant, and full of a hope that Grange himself had lost, Ruth emerges the black woman that Margaret and Mem could have been. A young, black, single mother becomes involved with the Civil Rights movement, coupling self-determinism with a commitment to poor black people in the South. Meridian Hill grows up in the South, marries a high school boyfriend, becomes pregnant, and has a son.

She experiences mixed feelings about motherhood, often fantasizing about killing the baby. After her husband leaves her, Meridian lives in emotional limbo, daydreaming and watching television—on which, one morning, she sees that the nearby house where the voter registration drives are organized has been bombed.

She decides to volunteer to work with the movement, more out of curiosity about what the people are like than from any political ideology.

One of the workers is Truman Held, a man with whom Meridian will have an ongoing, although stormy, relationship. Because of her unusually high intelligence, Meridian is offered a scholarship to Saxon College, and when she discovers that Truman attends college in Atlanta, his potential proximity becomes a motivating factor in her decision to accept it. Against the protests of her mother, Meridian gives away her baby, believing that he will be better off with someone else, and leaves for Saxon College.

As a former wife and mother, Meridian is not the socially preferred virginal Saxon girl. The world beyond Saxon seems to contradict itself as well. Truman becomes involved with a white exchange student, Lynne, a baffling development to Meridian.

One of those homecomings leaves Meridian pregnant, and she suffers a subsequent abortion alone, never telling Truman. Although Meridian ultimately reconciles spiritually with Truman, she must learn to love and accept him and Lynne in the act of letting them go.

Letting go becomes a discipline that Meridian perfects as her purpose matures. When the movement demands that she vow to kill for it if need be, Meridian cannot comply. She realizes her willingness to sacrifice and even die for the cause, but when she cannot say what the group wants to hear, Meridian lets them go. She returns to the South, where she lives a spartan life of emotional wealth, working for poor black people in small, everyday ways.

Such seemingly insignificant protests, in fact, come to define the Civil Rights movement for many people. Again, Walker extracts the political from the personal. Meridian is not perfect, however; her physical maladies and her guilt concerning her mother and child combine effectively to cripple her until she determines to move toward a life of work with which she is morally comfortable.

Only then does her strength return. By her example, Truman comes to see the power in her life and dedicates himself to similar work. Meridian proclaims that true revelation comes from personal change and growth. Although the novel deals with a particular political time period, implications of moral responsibility, love, and sacrifice transcend the specific, making Meridian a novel of timely worth.

The novel takes the form of letters: The letters afford the characters the opportunity to speak in their own voices, their own unique language. Woven into the letters as well are details of day-to-day farming life in the South that involves racism and economic hardship. Shug is beautiful, stubborn, and independent—traits that Celie has never seen in a woman.

The feeling between them intensifies, and Shug and Celie become lovers for a time. It is Shug who discovers and procures the years of letters from Nettie hidden in Mr. Although it intensifies her hate for Mr. This new Celie eventually makes peace with Mr. For all the praise it received, The Color Purple also received much criticism for its negative portrayals of black men. Traynor becomes a pitiable character, as victimized by the entertainment industry as Gracie Mae—more so, in that he lacks her sense of self-worth.

Over the years, Traynor gives Gracie Mae a car, a farm, a house, and countless other presents in an attempt to return some of the wealth her talent helped him attain. Her opinion of the South and of her father in particular has inhibited her growth as an artist; she cannot render black men on paper at all, not having the strength to draw what she sees as complete defeat.

Free from a single, oppressed image of all black men, Sarah feels she may now portray her grandfather in stone. Choosing not to allow one environment to define her gives her the freedom to define herself. An old man is loved by the children of his community, who find his company a special gift. The story describes Mr. Sweet lovingly so that the reader can see that someone others might reject as a person of no account he gets drunk on his own home brew and chews tobacco is in fact important to the family and to the town.

Finally, when the narrator is away at college, Mr. Sweet gets sick again, and this time no one can call him back. After his death, the family celebrates him, and the narrator accepts the gift of Mr. The speaker in this story is the mother of two very different girls, Maggie and Dee. Maggie has stayed home with her mother and lived an old-fashioned, traditional life, while Dee has gone off to school and become sophisticated.

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Alice Walker (born February 9, ) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. The scar tissue was removed when Walker was 14, but a mark still remains and is described in her essay "Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self.". Alice Walker essays In Alice Walker's "The Flowers" the reader is introduced to a child named Myop. The story describes her walk through the woods that leads her to a dead body. The last line of the story is "And the summer was over." Not only does it mean that the seasons.

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Free Essay: “The Flowers” by Alice Walker is a short story written in the ’s. The story focuses on Myop, a ten year old African American girl who loves. Alice Walker: Alice Walker, American writer whose novels, short stories, and poems are noted for their insightful treatment of African American culture. Her novels, most notably the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple (), focus particularly on women. Learn more about Walker’s life and career.