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Alice Walker - A Profound Voice In Literature And Activism

Alice Walker is an American author, poet, social activist, and writer of short stories. She is a well-known figure in the literary world and has penned many excellent books and novels over her career. The public enjoys her other book, The Color Purple, which she also authored. A major accomplishment for any writer is winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she also received.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Emily Sanchez
Feb 23, 2024888 Shares28.6K Views
Alice Walkeris an American author, poet, social activist, and writer of short stories. She is a well-known figure in the literary world and has penned many excellent books and novels over her career. The public enjoys her other book, The Color Purple, which she also authored. A major accomplishment for any writer is winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she also received.
She broke the record and became the first female African American. She has a lengthy history of employment in this field and has grown in prominence as a result of her efforts. She is a well-known social activist as well. She has taken an active role in a number of social problems, such as womanism, civil rights, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and her support for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.

Quick Facts About Alice Walker

BirthdateFeb 9, 1944
ProfessionWriter, Novelist, Poet, Author
NationalityUnited States of America

Early Life And Education

Alice Walker laughing
Alice Walker laughing
In Eatonton, Georgia, on February 9, 1944, Alice Walker was born into a family of sharecropper parents Minnie and Willie, the youngest of eight children. She started attending East Putnam Consolidated at the age of four. Walker was wounded by her brother with a BB gun bullet when she was eight years old, resulting in damage to her right eye. Her family didn't have a vehicle to drive her to the hospital, so she lost her right eye permanently. Walker was motivated to learn to read and write by this experience.
Walker attended Butler Baker High School, the only black student-only institution in the region, as a teenager. She received a full scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta after graduating as the valedictorian of her class. Walker took a scholarship at Yonkers, New York's Sarah Lawrence College after two of her mentors there were sacked and another one was moved. 1965 saw her graduate from the institution.

Literary Career

Alice Walker reading
Alice Walker reading
Alice Walker's literary career began in earnest with the publication of her first novel, "The Third Life of Grange Copeland," in 1970. The novel examines the harsh realities faced by African American families in the rural South. Walker's early poetry collections, such as "Once" (1968) and "Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems" (1973), also garnered attention for their insightful commentary on race and gender.
However, it was her 1982 novel, "The Color Purple," that catapulted Walker to international fame. The book tells the story of Celie, a young African American girl in the early 20th century South, who endures sexual abuse and oppression before finding strength and liberation through her relationships with other women. "The Color Purple" received widespread critical acclaim, winning the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making Walker the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer for Fiction.
Walker's subsequent works continued to explore similar themes. Novels like "Meridian" (1976) and "The Temple of My Familiar" (1989) delve into the complexities of racial and gender identity, as well as the interconnectedness of personal and political history.

Activism And Advocacy

Beyond her writing, Alice Walker has been a prominent social activist, using her voice to address issues such as civil rights, women's rights, and international human rights. She was involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, working with the NAACP and participating in the 1963 March on Washington.
Walker has also been a vocal advocate for the rights of women, particularly women of color. In 1983, she coined the term "womanist" to describe a black feminist or feminist of color, which she defined as "a black feminist or feminist of color...committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female."
Her activism has extended to global issues as well. Walker has been outspoken against female genital mutilation, and she has participated in various international efforts to promote peace and human rights. Her essays, collected in books like "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose" (1983) and "Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism" (1997), reflect her commitment to social change.

Cultural Impact

Alice Walker smiling
Alice Walker smiling
Alice Walker's work has had a significant impact on both literature and culture. "The Color Purple" was adapted into a critically acclaimed film directed by Steven Spielberg in 1985 and later into a successful Broadway musical. These adaptations have helped to introduce Walker's themes of resilience, empowerment, and transformation to a wider audience.
Walker's influence extends into academia, where her works are widely taught and analyzed. Her exploration of intersectionality before the term was widely used has made her a central figure in discussions about the interconnectedness of race, gender, and class oppression.

Personal Life Of Alice Walker

Walker married civil rights lawyer Melvyn Leventhal in New York City in 1967. After that, they relocated to Jackson, Mississippi, where they established themselves as the state's first legally engaged interracial couple. Rebecca was the daughter of Walker and Leventhal. In the end, the couple were divorced in 1976. Walker then relocated to Northern California, where she and Robert L. Allen co-founded the feminist publishing house Wild Tree Press.

Alice Walker Net Worth

Alice Walker giving a speech
Alice Walker giving a speech
The estimated net worth of the most well-known American author, Alice Walker, is around $10 million. Writer Alice Walker has achieved success in her career. Her books are very well-liked for her writing style, and she has sold over a million copies of her work worldwide.
She was honored for her contributions to the book The Color Purple, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This book helped her become more well-known, and she also gained a substantial amount of money as a result of her increased notoriety.
Net Worth 2024$13 Million
Net Worth 2023$12 Million
Net Worth 2000$5 Million

Real Estate Properties

Alice Walker purchased a house in Berkeley, California, in the middle of the 1990s. 2016 saw her sell this house for $2.65 million. The U.C. Berkeley chancellor was the purchaser.

People Also Ask

What Is Alice Walker's Most Famous Work?

Alice Walker's most famous work is "The Color Purple," published in 1982. The novel, addressing themes of racism, sexism, and oppression, earned her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and widespread international acclaim.

Has Alice Walker Received Any Awards For Her Work?

Yes, Alice Walker has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "The Color Purple." She has also been honored with the National Book Award for Fiction, the O. Henry Award, and the LennonOno Grant for Peace.

What Are Some Other Notable Works By Alice Walker?

Apart from "The Color Purple," Alice Walker has written several other notable works, including "The Third Life of Grange Copeland," "Meridian," "Possessing the Secret of Joy," and numerous poetry collections such as "Once" and "Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful."


Alice Walker's body of work and her dedication to social activism have made her one of the most influential writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Her voice has become synonymous with the struggle for equality, justice, and human dignity. Through her novels, poetry, and essays, Walker has illuminated the lives of African American women and offered profound insights into the human condition.
Her legacy is one of courage, compassion, and an unyielding commitment to truth and beauty in the face of adversity. As an artist and an activist, Alice Walker's impact on literature and society will be felt for generations to come. Her words serve not only as a reflection of past struggles but also as a beacon of hope and a call to action for future generations to continue the work of making the world a more equitable and empathetic place.
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