ALice Walker

Essay by super_ilonaHigh School, 10th gradeA-, October 2008

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African American, Alice Walker, is author of the bestselling novel, The Color Purple. In addition to her many other novels and short stories, Alice wrote remarkably spiritual and touching poetry. “Her works typically focus on the struggles of African Americans, particularly women, and their effort against a racist, sexist, and violent society.” (Stevenson).

Alice Malsenior Walker was born on February 9th, 1944. She was the last of eight children born to Minnie Tallulan and Willie Lee Walker. The Walkers were a family of sharecroppers- people who farmed the land of white land owners and were paid a share of the crop. In the summer of 1952, while playing with her siblings, Alice felt a sharp, sudden blow to her right eye. One of her brothers had accidently shot her with a BB gun. Alice became scarred for life; she was no longer considered the “cute one”. Traumatized, Alice had surgery in 1958 but still remained blind in her right eye.

Years flew by, and soon Alice began attending Spelman College, where she was inspired by Marin Luther King Jr. to become part of the Civil Rights Movement. Alice became pregnant in 1964. Depression and thoughts of suicide filled her mind for fear that her family would never accept her like that. She soon had an abortion and wrote poetry to aid her through these rocky moments in life. In 1965, Alice married Mel Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer. They became the first legally married inter-racial couple in Mississippi. In 1969, they had one daughter together- Rebecca.

Alice continued to write, publishing her best known work, The Color Purple, in 1982. She also wrote The Temple of My Familiar and The Secret of Joy. In addition, she wrote a number of collections of short stories, poetry, and other...