Following the brilliance of her writing and controversies surrounding her views, Alice Walker is a person of interest to many. She is a woman who has made history in many ways and broken many racial barriers through her art and in her personal life. Below are the top ten facts about Alice Walker.
Alice Walker is Partially Blind
Alice Walker is blind in her right eye. The blindness was a result of an injury she sustained when she was eight years old. She had been playing a game with one of her brothers who accidentally shot a dart in her eye, the eye got infected, and was permanently blinded.
The injury was a cause of sadness for Alice Walker at first who withdrew into solitude and only kept company with books. But she has since come to accept the incident as her fate and even see it as a gift. In her words:
On a spiritual level, it’s as though with my sighted eye, I see what is before me and with my unsighted eye I see what is hidden. It has illuminated life more than darkened it.Alice Walker
She was the valedictorian when she graduated High School
Alice Walker has always been brilliant. Despite the racial and economic barriers in her poor black background, she still excelled in academics. Her high school choices were limited, as not every school was open to blacks in Georgia at the time. So she attended Butler Baker High School, the only school in Eatonton, Georgia available to blacks at the time. She graduated high school as the valedictorian and got a full college scholarship from the state of Georgia for academic excellence.
She is the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Alice Walker made the record as the first African-American woman in history to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the year 1983 for her third novel The Color Purple which was published in 1982. The Color Purple remains Alice Walker’s most famous work and also won her the National Book Award for Fiction in 1983.
Alice Walker and Melvyn Leventhal were the first legally married interracial couple in Jackson, Mississippi.
Alice Walker got married to a Jewish man in 1967 when racial discrimination was very palpable in America, particularly in the South. Alice Walker and her Jewish husband Melvyn Leventhal, who both lived in Jackson, Mississippi at the time, had to travel to New York to get married on March 17, 1967. They made history as the first legally married interracial couple in Jackson, Mississippi. The couple had a daughter two years into the marriage.
However, the couple divorced in 1976, and Alice Walker sites tensions around their racial differences as some of the reasons for the failure of the marriage.
There is a documentary film about Alice Walker
In 2013, a documentary film about Alice Walker was released. It was directed by Pratibha Parmar and titled Beauty in Truth. The film talks about Alice Walker’s life, the circumstances that formed her outlook on sociopolitical issues, and how making her truth known to the world has affected the quality of her life.
Alice Walker is a Humanist
Alice Walker identifies humanism as one of the ideologies she lives by. Humanism is an ideology that promotes equality for all humans and advocates for the preservation of the welfare and goodness of the human race. Alice Walker, who fights against racial discrimination and gender inequality, identifies as a humanist.
In 1997, The American Humanist Association named Alice Walker Humanist of the Year
Alice Walker is in two Halls of Fame
In 2001, Alice Walker was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
Also, in 2006, she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame at California Museum for History, Women, and Arts.
Alice Walker met Martin Luther King Jr in person.
Alice Walker was among the people privileged to listen to Martin Luther King Junior’s popular ‘’I have a Dream’’ speech in person. She had been a college student at Spelman College and would attend Civil Rights rallies as much as she could so, she was present in 1963 when the famous speech was made.
Alice Walker is partly Cherokee
Alice Walker has Cherokee links in her ancestry. Her maternal great grandmother’s name was Tallulah and she was from the native American Indian tribe of Cherokee.
In 1994, Alice Walker legally added Tallulah-Kate to her name in honor of her mother Minnie Tallulah Grant and her great grandmother Tallulah.
Alice Walker has a passion for Gardening
Alice Walker has a special interest in flowers and Gardens. Gardening has inspired some of her writing, especially poetry and essays. She currently lives in California in a secluded property with lots of space for gardening and samples pictures of her flowers on her official website called alicewalkersgarden.com.
Is Alice Walker still alive today?
Yes, Alice Walker is alive today. She was born on February 9, 1944, and clocked seventy-eight years old in February 2022. She lives alone in her California home where she pursues her interest in gardening and continues to write and engage in activism.
What are the main themes of Alice Walker’s works?
The main themes in Alice Walker’s works are gender, race, identity, and love. These themes recur in all of her writing both prose and poetry. She also talks about these themes in her speeches and interviews. She is a popular voice in the fight against racial and gender injustice, especially in the African-American experience.
What is Alice Walker’s nationality?
Alice Walker’s nationality is American. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia in the South. She continues to live in America although she travels to various parts of the world.
Is Alice Walker a medium?
Alice Walker claims to be a medium that interacts with the spiritual realm as well as the physical. She claims that some of her writings are spiritual messages and that she is a medium through which these spiritual messages are communicated to the physical realm.