Alice Walker

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Pages: 6

Alice Walker
“Womanism is to feminism as purple is to lavender,” Walker explained of the crucial difference in inclusivity in Womanist ideology compared to Feminism and The Civil Rights Movement which excluded black woman. Alice Walker, as an activist and black woman writer, is deeply sympathetic with the oppressions encountered by black woman; therefore, she is deeply invested in the uplifting and self-realization of black woman and other marginalized groups through Womanism; an idea that is expressed through her literary works, such as The Color Purple. In a style similar to the popular autobiographical works of eminent black authors, the writings of Alice Walker reflect and fictionalize her life and the lives of her female associates. Alice
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Reflecting her exposure to violence and poverty, Walker further explores the incredible stress and corruption resulting from being trapped and exploited and the violence against women and children in the African American community because of this frustration (Walker, Alice). Walker’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and in teaching of black woman writers provides further insight into her work and motivation behind the creation of her Womanist ideology. For example, the exclusion Walker saw black women experience in The Black Arts Movement and Feminism; the inspiration Zora Hurston’s works such as Their Eyes Were Watching God had on Walker’s life as a reason to be proud of her black heritage and the inspiration for Walker’s stylistic choice of using black folk speech in her writings and essays. Ultimately, both served as cause for Walker’s insistence on reviving Hurston’s works though teaching of her and other erased black women authors and the creation of Womanism as an alternative to mainstream exclusivity for oppressed groups and an attempt to create a Matrilineal Heritage. A heritage which black woman could be proud of when …show more content…
Although Walker’s early works such as often focused on the damage to the mind, body, and soul inflicted by violence, Walker more fully explores the liberation of black woman in Meridian, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, and The Color Purple. This focus in Walker's works of the exploration of black woman reflects Walker’s Womanist principles of exploring the complexities, both tears and joy, of black woman in her stories and the healing of women through support from her community. Furthermore, in the act of writing itself, Walker exhibits one of her most important Womanist philosophy, that of black women being able to tell their own stories and define their own histories. This philosophy links to her support and exaltation of black woman writers such as Hurston. From whom she borrows several aspects such as vernacular and themes like exploring the sexism within the black community; thus, in writing her novels and essays, Walker helps gives black woman a heritage to draw from and helps uplift her community while simultaneously drawing from