Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Alice Malsenior Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. She wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple (1982) for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

I don't call myself a Buddhist. I'm a free spirit. I believe I'm here on earth to admire and enjoy it, that's my religion.

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers names.

America is not nearly done. We're only in the beginning. Who knows who we will be? Who knows... what color we will be? It is all something that maybe our descendants - if they survive that long - will see.

Sometimes reading a blog, which I do infrequently, I see that generations of Americans have been wilfully crippled and can no longer spell or write a sentence.

All History is current, all injustice continues on some level somewhere in the world.

Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?

The gift of loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one's people that has not previously been taken into account.

I realized I was a country person - I'm just not used to small spaces.

Well I think indigenous peoples have ways of living on the Earth that they've had forever. And they've been overrun by organized religion which has had a lot of money and power.

And so our mothers and grandmothers have more often than not anonymously handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see - or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.

In my work and in myself I reflect black people women and men as I reflect others. One day even the most self-protective ones will look into the mirror I provide and not be afraid.

Politically the world is so confused right now - there's so much suffering caused by various movements by various parties and people in power in government.

I love us so incredibly insanely deeply, it's almost unbearable to see what we do to ourselves.

Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.

Well capitalism is a big problem because with capitalism you're just going to keep buying and selling things until there's nothing else to buy and sell which means gobbling up the planet.

The experience of God or in any case the possibility of experiencing God is innate.

I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough you will be a healthy person. That is if you write what you need to write as opposed to what will make money or what will make fame.

It no longer bothers me that I may be constantly searching for father figures, by this time I have found several and dearly enjoyed knowing them all.

In nature nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted bent in weird ways and they're still beautiful.

For in the end freedom is a personal and lonely battle, and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.

Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.

To me the black black woman is our essential mother the blacker she is the more us she is and to see the hatred that is turned on her is enough to make me despair almost entirely of our future as a people.

'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.

Sucking up to the biggies won't get us anywhere.

The infinite faith I have in people's ability to understand anything that makes sense has always been justified finally by their behavior.

People do not wish to appear foolish, to avoid the appearance of foolishness they are willing to remain actually fools.

It is justice and respect that I want the world to dust off and put - without delay and with tenderness - back on the head of the Palestinian child. It will be imperfect justice and respect because the injustice and disrespect have been so severe. But I believe we are right to try.

The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men who shout.

Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister.

I was distressed that after 9/11 when the United States was attacked by terrorists the United States' response was to attack Afghanistan where some of the terrorists had been.

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book If art doesn't make us better then what on earth is it for.

It's an awful feeling to write something that you feel is really important... and to feel that you're being published by people who really don't get it and/or don't really care.

I started out as a poet. I've always been a poet since I was 7 or 8. And so I feel myself to be fundamentally a poet who got into writing novels.

Clearly older women and especially older women who have led an active life or elder women who successfully maneuver through their own family life have so much to teach us about sharing patience and wisdom.

Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.

I see children all children as humanity's most precious resource because it will be to them that the care of the planet will always be left.

As you know from school it's when you have not prepared for the test that you have the fear of failing. And if you have prepared even if you fail you've done your best.

Fiction is such a world of freedom it's wonderful. If you want someone to fly they can fly.

I think that wealthy white people would like to have a country that resembles the Fifties when all the minorities were tucked away in ghettos and paid in very low wages but on the surface it was very bright and shiny and free and the rest of the world would look on it longingly.

Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.

At one point I learned transcendental meditation. This was 30-something years ago. It took me back to the way that I naturally was as a child growing up way in the country rarely seeing people. I was in that state of oneness with creation and it was as if I didn't exist except as a part of everything.

My work is about my life and what I want to do with it.

The most important question in the world is 'Why is the child crying?'

There are those who believe Black people possess the secret of joy and that it is this that will sustain them through any spiritual or moral or physical devastation.

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.

I'm for women choosing whatever they want to do but they have to really know what they are doing.

You know one race will not be a survivor if the other one dies and that's something that we should think about.

Horses make a landscape look beautiful.

I feel very happy to be living in Berkeley because there are a lot of people who are politically active here.

In search of my mother's garden I found my own.

Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be.

No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.

Part of what confuses people in times of upheaval is that you're getting so many different points of view and directions and so and so how to do this and do that. And a lot of it is written in a language that honestly most people cannot understand.

All partisan movements add to the fullness of our understanding of society as a whole. They never detract, or in any case one must not allow them to do so. Experience adds to experience.

I love the natural world - it comes from my culture which grew out of a people enslaved.

The trouble with our people is as soon as they got out of slavery they didn't want to give the white man nothing else. But the fact is you got to give em something. Either your money your land your woman or your ass.

We should learn to accept that change is truly the only thing that's going on always and learn to ride with it and enjoy it.

For me writing has always come out of living a fairly to-the-bone kind of life just really being present to a lot of life. The writing has been really a byproduct of that.

I try to teach my heart not to want things it can't have.

Anybody can observe the Sabbath but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.

I have never felt that the one thing that I am 'known for' is what I am.

I'm not convinced that women have the education or the sense of their own history enough, or that they understand the cruelty of which men are capable and the delight that many men will take in seeing you choose to chain yourself - then they get to say 'See you did it yourself.'

For a long time I thought I was ugly and disfigured. This made me shy and timid and I often reacted to insults that were not intended.

I can be almost terminally grief-stricken because things are so dire but at the same time there's a real lightheartedness about just the recoverability of life of how things change how they're not the same ever again.

I'm sure we the American people are the butt of jokes by those in power.

I'm the most stubborn person I know.

Sexuality is one of the ways that we become enlightened actually because it leads us to self-knowledge.

I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other and then in some practical way some daily way figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to.

Life is better than death I believe if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches in it.

People tend to think that life really does progress for everyone eventually that people progress but actually only some people progress. The rest of the people don't.

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white or women created for men.

War contributes greatly to global warming which shouldn't surprise us. All those bombs going off all those rockets all those planes and helicopters. All that fuel of various kinds being used. It pollutes the air and water of this very fragile and interconnected planet.

Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.

My life is not to be somebody else's impact - you know what I mean?

Yes Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.

I'm entirely interested in people and also other creatures and beings but especially in people and I tend to read them by emotional field more than anything. So I have a special interest in what they're thinking and who they are and who's hiding behind those eyes and how did he get there and what's the story really?

I think there is a sense of being forced at this time to look at America's really large shadow and that's not all that bad.

We must I believe start teaching our children the sanity of nonviolence much earlier.

It's so clear that you have to cherish everyone. I think that's what I get from these older black women that every soul is to be cherished that every flower Is to bloom.

Never be the only one except possibly in your own home.

I have learned not to worry about love, but to honor its coming with all my heart.

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

Helped are those who create anything at all for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.

As an elder of the Americas and of the rest of the planet it is my responsibility to care for and protect to the best of my ability the young.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.

I can imagine in years to come that my papers and memorabilia my journals and letters will find themselves always in the company of people who care about many of the things I do.

I just like to have words that describe things correctly. Now to me 'black feminist' does not do that. I need a word that is organic that really comes out of the culture that really expresses the spirit that we see in black women. And it's just... womanish.

Language is an intrinsic part of who we are and what has for good or evil happened to us.

My mother was very strong. Once she picked up a coconut and smashed it against my father's head. It taught me about women defending themselves and not collapsing in a heap.

What the mind doesn't understand it worships or fears.

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.