“I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.” – Alice Walker
Born on this date in 1944, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist Walker has authored some 3 dozen works, highlighted by her multi-award winning novel The Color Purple, also made into a multi-award winning movie. The daughter of Georgia sharecroppers, she earned a full scholarship to college, starting at Spelman and then transferring and graduating from Sarah Lawrence, where she started her writing career.
“I started writing as a child. But I didn't think of myself actually writing until I was in college,” she said. “I had gone to Africa as a sophomore or something - no, maybe junior - and wrote a book of poems (Once). And that was my beginning. I published that book.” Right out of college she spent time working in the Civil Rights movement while continuing her writing, doing several novels while also writing for Ms. Magazine.
Walker has been greatly influenced by the work of Zora Neale Hurston, and is credited with bringing renewed attention to Hurston's works, helping revive the popularity and respect Hurston first received during the 1920s. And, of course, Walker has earned accolades for both her Civil Rights and human rights activism.
“I think that all people who feel that there is injustice in the world anywhere should learn as much of it as they can bear,” she said. “That is our duty.”
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