The Historical and Social Context of Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple'

Including biography of Alice Walker

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The Historical and Social Context of The Color Purple
Alice Walker
Born on February 9th 1944 in Putnam Country, Georgia.
o Novels/Short Stories
The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)
In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973)
Everyday Use (1973)
Meridan (1976)
The Color Purple (1982)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1983)
National Book Award for Fiction (1983)
You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories (1982)
To Hell With Dying (1988)
The Temple of My Familiar (1989)
Finding the Green Stone (1991)
Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992)
The Complete Stories (1994)
By The Light of My Father's Smile (1998)
The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart (2000)
Now is the Time to Open your Heart (2005)
o Essays
`A Letter of the Times, or should this be Sado-Masochism be saved? In
Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis (1982)
o Poetry Collections
Once (1968)
Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973)
Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll See you in the Morning (1979)
Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful (1985)
Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems (1991)
Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth (2003)
A Poem Travelled Down my Arm: Poems and Drawings (2003)
Collected Poems (2005)
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems
o Non-Fiction Books
In Search of our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983)
Living by the Word (1988)
Warrior Marks (1993)
The Same Rive Twice: Honouring the Difficult (1996)
Anything we Love can be Saved: A Writer's Activism (1997)
Go Girl!: THe Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure (1997)
Pema Chodron and Alice Walker in Conversation (1999)

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Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Boming of
the World Trade Center and Pentagon (2001)
We are the Ones we Have Been Waiting For (2006)
Overcoming Speechlessness (2010)
Chicken Chronicles, A Memoir (2011)
Other awards:
o Honorary Degree from California Institute of the Arts (1995)
o American Humanist Association named her `Humanist of the Year' (1997)
o Lillian Smith Award from the National Endowment of the Arts
o Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts & Letters
o Radcliffe…read more

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­ One of 50 signers of letter protesting Toronto International Film Festival's
`City to City' spotlight on Israeli filmmakers, condemning Irrael as an "apartheid
o 2009 ­ Travelled to Gaza along with 60 0ther female activist to deliver aid
o 2009 ­ Participated in Gaza Freedom March
o 2011 ­ Announced plans to participate in aid flotilla in Gaza that attempted to break
Israel's naval blockade
o 2011 ­ Shooting began on Beauty in Truth, a documentary film about her life
o She is…read more

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Non-specialist attitudes can be negative, especially among African Americans as it
deviates from standard
o Use is interpreted as a sign of ignorance or laziness
Jim Crow laws
o 1880s-1960s ­ enforced segregation
o Differed from state-to-state
o Could impose legal punishments for consorting with members of another race
o Alabama
Black men can't have white nurses
All passenger stations shall have separate waiting rooms/space and
separate ticket windows for black and whites
Conductor of each passenger train required to assign each passenger to
car/division…read more

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Separate schools maintained for children of different races
Any person shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating texts urging
for public acceptance or general information in favour of social equality or
intermarriage (fined $500 and/or 6 month prison sentence)
Intermarriage (one-eighth or more of "Negro blood") unlawful and void
Separate entrances for white and black patients and visitors
Warden shall see white convicts have separate apartments for eating and
sleeping away from black convicts
o Missouri
Separate free schools established for education of…read more

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Attended all-black McCosh Grammar School
Three days after arriving in Money, Mississippi, Till and a group of teenagers entered
Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Till apparently flirted with Carolyn Brant.
Four days later, early in the morning on 28th August 1955, Roy Brant and his half brother J.W.…read more


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