Alice Walker Essay, Research Paper
Blinded in one eye from an accidental gunshot wound at the young age of eight, Alice Walker realized that the rest of her life probably held many hardships and rough times ahead. Racism, oppression, discrimination, and bigotry all played great roles in all of the Alice Walker s works throughout her life. During her lifetime, Walker was accused of hating black men, of conspiring with white Hollywood to degrade the black family by portraying physical violence, incest, rape, and lesbianism. Seemingly, anger and bitterness followed Walker wherever she ventured throughout her life as her stories usually depicted rather questionable themes such as sexual abuse in her famous novel, The Color Purple. A large majority of people, ironically of her own race, shunned her sexually explicit work. Forums were held throughout the country in which the films themes were hotly debated. Greatly disturbed about what they’d heard about The Color Purple these people (a large portion were African American) refused even to see it. Some demanded to know why a black man, such as Sidney Poitier, hadn’t directed it. Protesters picketed outside the Academy Award ceremonies after the film received 11 Oscar nominations, including for best picture. These actions barely even affected Walker as she went about her life like she normally would. Over her whole life span, Alice Walker never let the thoughts of beliefs of others effect her unique writing style. In doing so, she exemplified a great deal of boldness and courage, and opening many doors for women that hadn t been approached in the past.
Alice Malsenior Walker was born on February 9, 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia, the eighth and youngest child of Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker and Willie Lee Walker. Her parents were poor sharecroppers but wealthy of spirit and love. In the summer of 1952 while playing “cowboys and indians” with her brothers (Alice was the Indian with bow and arrow in hand), she was blinded in her right eye by a BB gun pellet. Ironically, Alice was self-conscious of the large white scar tissue left in her eye. When she was 14 years old her brother Bill had the “cataract” removed for Alice by a doctor in Boston, but her vision never returned. In her high school years, Alice s extraordinary character led her to be nominated prom queen by her peers, and she was later named class valedictorian. After graduating high school in 1961, Alice left home to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia on scholarship. Before leaving, Alice’s mother gave her three special gifts: a sewing machine for self-sufficiency, a suitcase for independence and a typewriter for creativity. During her tenure at Spelmen College, Alice wan an avid participant in civil rights demonstrations.