//Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Another female writer that I admire is Alice Walker. My first experience of her work was when I watched, as a young woman, The Color Purple. I shall never forget how I felt. I went through numerous emotions, I was shocked, horrified, sad, excited, inspired plus many other emotions…

Alice was born in 1944 in Georgia, USA. It wasn’t an easy time to be black, poor and more so to be born into a family that worked on the land. Despite other people’s expectations, re the educating children born into such circumstances, her mother enrolled her in school when she was four.

Unfortunately, at the age of eight, she damaged one of her eyes due to an accident whilst she was playing with her brothers. This left her feeling self-conscious and withdrawn, however, this led her to develop a love of reading and writing. It’s said by some sources, that she started writing The Color Purple around this time.

Despite the challenges that black children/young people had during their time of learning in that era, she was able to complete her education and graduated from college in 1955 aged 21. Incidentally, this was also the year that she wrote her first book, and the year she first became involved in the Civil Rights Movement.

Just like Mya Angelou, Alice spent time supporting Dr Martin Luther King, took part in the Civil Rights march to Washington in 1963 and took part in an anti-war rally, which she was arrested at. She has supported woman’s rights and many other causes, for many years, to try to bring about change to areas that she felt were unjust. During her working life apart from writing, she has also worked as a social worker, teacher and a lecturer.

Alice has written many books, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the one that she is most recognised for is The Color Purple, because it has been dramatised into a film and on Broadway. She wrote her way through hard and challenging times and despite this won many awards. Her first award was the Pulitzer, in 1983, for The Color Purple and since then she has won many other awards and fellowships to many institutions. Her most recent books, The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers and The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to being in Harm’s Way, were published in 2013, both of which I have yet to read.

One of her quotes: “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”

Expect Nothing

Expect nothing. Live frugally

On surprise

Become a stranger

To need of pity

Or, if compassion be freely

Given out

Take only enough

Stop short of urge to plead

Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger

Than your own small heart

Or greater than a star;

Tame wild disappointment

With caress unmoved and cold

Make of it a parka

For your soul.

Discover the reason why

So tiny human midget

Exists at all

So scared unwise

But expect nothing. Live frugally

On surprise.

Alice Walker


2020© Sharon RM Stevens