Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia, the youngest of eight children, to Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Lou Tallulah Grant. Her father, who was, in her words, "wonderful at math but a terrible farmer," earned only $300 a year from sharecropping and dairy farming. Her mother supplemented the family income by working as a maid.She worked 11 hours a day for USD $17 per week to help pay for Alice to attend college.
Living under Jim Crow Laws, Walker's parents resisted landlords who expected the children of black sharecroppers to work the fields at a young age. A white plantation owner said to her that black people had “no need for education.” Minnie Lou Walker said, "You ... more »
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Alice Walker Poems
Expect nothing. Live frugally On surprise. become a stranger To need of pity
Be Nobody's Darling
Be nobody's darling; Be an outcast. Take the contradictions Of your life
A Picture Story For The Curious
(You supply the pictures!) I get to meditate in a chair! Or against the wall with my legs
My desire is always the same; wherever Life deposits me: I want to stick my toe
Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
Did you ever understand this? If my spirit was poor, how could I enter heaven? Was I depressed? Understanding editing,
I Will Keep Broken Things
I will keep Broken Things: The big clay
She is the one who will notice that the first snapdragon of Spring
Going Out To The Garden
Going out to the garden this morning to plant seeds for my winter greens
When the people have won a victory whether small or large
Remember When we ended It all -for a weekend-
To Change The World Enough
To change the world enough you must cease to be afraid of the poor. We experience your fear as the least pardonable of
When You See Water
When you see water in a stream you say: oh, this is stream water; When you see water in the river
If I Was President
If I was President The first thing I would do is call Mumia Abu-Jamal. No,
When they torture your mother plant a tree When they torture your father plant a tree
Quotationsmore quotations »
''How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers' names.''Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. author, critic. repr. In In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983). "A Letter to the Editor of Ms.," Ms. (New York, Aug. 1...
''It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's "mature" critics often are.''Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. author, critic. repr. In In Search of our Mothers' Gardens (1983). "A Writer Because of, Not in Spite of, Her Children," ...
''If I could live as a tree, as a river, as the moon, as the sun, as a star, as the earth, as a rock, I would. ...Writing permits me to experience life as any number of strange creations.''Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. poet and fiction writer. Black Women Writers at Work, ch. 12, by Claudia Tate (1985).
''Never be the only one, except, possibly, in your own home.''Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. author, critic. repr. In In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983). "Breaking Chains and Encouraging Life," Ms. (New York,...
''The original "crime" of "niggers" and lesbians is that they prefer themselves.''Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. author, critic. repr. In In Search of our Mothers' Gardens (1983). "Breaking Chains and Encouraging Life," Ms. (New York,...
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Expect nothing. Live frugally
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.
Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.
Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally