Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

“The Color Purple” Muses

“The Color Purple” Muses

More From Alice

In this video

Tagged as

The stories that animate The Color Purple are the extraordinary tales that Walker gathered from her grandparents.

Alice's Biography

Three Words to Describe Herself: Thoughtful, solitary, and amazed

First Paying Job: Picking daffodils for 5 cents a bunch.

Most Meaningul Advice: “To be myself, and that was completely ample.”

Advice for Young Women: “Happiness is important… One of the sad realities is how people get locked into the dream or the job or the career or whatever it is and it’s not them at all. It’s not what the soul is trying to find.”

Growing up in the South prior to and during the Civil Rights Movement, had a major impact on the life and career of novelist, poet, and activist, Alice Walker. The eighth child of Georgia sharecroppers, Walker began writing, very privately, when she was eight years old. She went on to become valedictorian of her local school and to attend Spelman College and then Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships, graduating in 1965.
Penning her first book of poetry her senior year of college, Walker is a prolific writer of poetry, children’s books, essays, short stories, and novels, most notably 1983's The Color Purple for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - the first African American woman to receive the award. The book also won the National Book Award, was made into Steven Spielberg’s 1985 Oscar-nominated film, and was adapted for the stage, opening on Broadway in 2005, and capturing a Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical in 2006.
Walker was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and continues today to be an involved activist. She has spoken for the women's movement, the anti-apartheid movement, the anti-nuclear movement, and against female genital mutilation. Through her own publishing company, Wild Trees Press, and her work with Ms. magazine, Walker has introduced and championed the voices of numerous feminist and women of color authors. Her own work has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than fifteen million copies.

Related Videos

Fu Ying
Fu Ying
Former Vice Foreign Minister, China

Fu Ying is the former Vice Foreign Minister of China, the first woman to serve in the role since 1979, and one of only two to serve in Chinese history. Born in the Inner Mongolia A...

Dena Simmons
Dena Simmons
Educator

Dena Simmons is an activist, an educator, and also a student. Born to a resilient mother who escaped Antigua to come to the US, Simmons was raised in the Bronx and hopes to stay th...

Esta Soler
Esta Soler
Founder, Futures Without Violence

Esta Soler is President of Futures Without Violence, a leading non-profit organization in the fight against domestic violence. She was born in Bridgeport, CT, in 1947 and has a Mas...

Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard
Congresswoman (D-Hawaii)

Tulsi Gabbard has served as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s second congressional district since 2013. She was born in American Samoa but moved to Hawaii at age 2. At 21...