“If art doesn’t make us better, than what on earth is it for?”
Born this day in 1944: Alice Walker (b. 1944), first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for a novel
Alice Walker was born to a sharecropping family in Eatonton, Georgia. She was educated at Spelman College (1961-1963) and Sarah Lawrence College, which awarder her a B.A. in 1965. Walker became active in the civil rights movement while at Spelman. After college Walker began teaching and continued writing. She has also continued her activism on a broad range of human rights topics throughout her life.
Walker is the author of seven novels; numerous short stories, essays, and poetry; and several volumes of nonfiction, many of which relate to her activism. She also reintroduced the world to writer Zora Neale Hurston with a 1975 article in Ms., “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston.”
Walker’s best-known work is The Color Purple (1982), which won both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize (1983). She is the first African American woman novelist to win the Pulitzer. Like many of her works, it explores theme of race, class, and sex in relation to African American women. You can read an excerpt here.
You can visit Alice Walker’s website here.
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