Alice Walker is very vocal about her beliefs and her stance on various socio-political issues around the globe. Let’s have a look at some nuggets from Alice Walker’s words.
Social and Political Consciousness
All History is current; all injustice continues on some level, somewhere in the worldAlice Walker
Alice Walker here brings to mind the relevance of history. That history is not just events that happened in the past but that events noted as history still continue to happen in present-day across the world.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have anyAlice Walker
The power of social and political consciousness of a people. Walker is saying that people unwittingly give up their power to influence events by the ignorance of underestimating themselves.
There is nothing more wonderful than setting other people freeAlice Walker
Alice Walker was expressing her feeling about how her writing has liberated the minds of readers across the globe and from her words, she sees that as the most wonderful of feelings. Alice Walker has always been an advocate of collectivism and altruism and so these words resonate with her ideologies.
These words also encourage one to not only seek one’s liberation, but also that of others.
As long as people don’t fear the truth, there is hope. For once they fear it, the one who tells it doesn’t stand a chance. And today, truth is still beautiful… but so frighteningAlice Walker
Alice Walker’s opinion of truth and a people’s reaction to the truth. She is wary of a society that fears truth because such societies stifle truth sayers. This is a nugget to digest in this day and age when narratives are controlled by the powerful and facing undiluted truth almost becomes an impossibility.
Creativity, Imagination, and Art
Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousnessAlice Walker
Also related to social consciousness, Walker depicts the power of poetry on a people’s political will. Walker who has often used her poems as a medium of activism is well placed to have this opinion as her poems have been raising awareness of civil rights and the injustice of racial and gender discrimination for decades
I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book, if art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?Alice Walker
This is Walker speaking on the question of whether a writer’s lifestyle must reflect in their writing. Walker is of the opinion that a writer’s lifestyle must reflect in their writing and that person’s writing is a strong basis to judge a person’s character.
Walker would have none of those writers that claim their lifestyle does not matter in their writing and makes her stance on it well known.
We are a people. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children, and if necessary, bone by boneAlice Walker (In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens)
This passionate statement is made by Alice Walker in her book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. She was talking about heritage and legacy and the unfortunate racism palpable in the research materials on black women written by white anthropologists.
In this context, Walker was talking about African-American people and African-American women especially. She remarks on the duty of artists within an ethnicity to uphold their own heritage and preserve the geniuses that has made legacies for them.
Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violenceAlice Walker
Alice Walker was telling her personal experience of how writing became an outlet for her anger against injustice and saved her from towing the destructive path of violence.
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 can do anything.Alice Walker
Alice Walker talks about the joys, freedom, and endless possibilities in the imagination. Alice Walker has consistently preached on exploring the power of the mind.
Womanist is to feminist as purple is to Lavender.Alice Walker
Alice Walker coined the term ”Womanist”. She coined the term as being different from the word ”feminist”. Her description of womanism is an advocacy for women but that is specially tailored to prioritize the black woman by incorporating her racial struggles as well.
Walker, however, brings a connection between womanism and feminism with that metaphor. Lavender is a flower whose petals are the color purple. Therefore, we see womanism as a component of feminism but with an emphasis on coloration.
Women have to summon up the courage to fulfill dormant dreamsAlice Walker
This simply means that Alice Walker is advocating for women to pursue their dreams irrespective of obstacles and barriers that may stand against them because of their identity as women.
To me, the black black woman is our essential mother, the blacker she is, the more us she is and to see the hatred that is turned on her is enough the make me despair almost entirely of our future as a peopleAlice Walker
Alice Walker’s reacting to beauty standards that regard women with dark skin as ugly. She despairs that women with very dark skin are regarded with scorn even by fellow blacks and fears for the future in such a society.
I just like to have words describe things correctly. Now to me, ‘’black feminist’’ does not do that. I need a word that is organic, that really comes out of the culture, that really expresses the spirit that we see in black women. And that is just… womanishAlice Walker
Alice Walker gives reasons why she coined the term ”womanist”. Walker coined the term ”womanist” from an African-American folks expression ”womanish”. Womanish in its contextual usage was used by African-American mothers to describe daughters who exhibit grown-up and courageous behavior. Walker that as an African-American woman, she cannot fully relate to the term ”feminist” and so had to find a more organic alternative.
The way I see it, life is about growth, struggle and trying to expand your love of self and other people. Also, to really try not cause cause harm. To cultivate a way of life that is harmless. This is likely to take all of your energy for your entire life. And if you harm some folks along the way, well, that’s why the apology was invented.Alice Walker (The World Has Changed)
It is safe to say that this statement summarizes a huge aspect of Walker’s philosophy. She talks about living in a way that does not harm others and admits the extent of difficulty in living that way and the chances of occasionally failing at such a noble motive. And then being able to salvage such failings through an apology.
I don’t call myself a Buddhist. I’m a free spirit. I believe I am here on earth to admire and enjoy it. That is my religion.Alice Walker
This was Alice Walker’s response to the question of being a Buddhist. Before this statement, Walker has often publicly talked about how she follows some Buddhist teachings and how she learned some of their methods of meditation which she practices. However, typical of Alice Walker, she refused to be boxed into a conventional definition of religious adherence. Also, she refused the tag of a Buddhist because she incorporates elements of various other religions in her spirituality.
Why bother to suffer if you’re not gonna have a good time at some point?Alice Walker (In an interview on UCTV’s Writer’s Symposium By The Sea)
Alice Walker made this statement in an interview with Dean Nelson on University of California Television’s Writer’s Symposium By the Sea. She was asked why she incorporated the Juke Joint in her novel The Color Purple. Most of the characters in the novel were poor black people who were suffering in many ways but the Juke Joint was a place they gathered every evening to relax, listen to music, drink and have a good time. And so this gives context to walker’s statement. Indeed, people ought to have a good time at some point in their lives irrespective of what they are going through.
Is Alice Walker a feminist?
Alice Walker does not accept being tagged a feminist. Although she advocates for women and stands against gender injustice, she describes herself as a ”womanist” and not as a feminist. According to her, the term feminism does not recognize the particular struggles of the black woman.
When was The Color Purple Written?
The Color Purple was published in the year 1982. Alice Walker is not very certain about the exact time frame it took her to write the novel.
How old is Alice Walker?
Alice Walker is seventy-eight years old in 2022. She was born on February 9, 1944.
Is The Color Purple a true story?
No, The Color Purple is not a true story. it is a fictional story but some aspects of the story were inspired by true events.