Black History Month Tribute – Alice M. Walker

Alice Walker III

 

In observation of Black History month, I must dedicate my 1st February blog post to someone of great integrity. The timing could not be any better for me as an aspiring author.  Last week, I accepted a challenge extended by one of my virtual mentors. I am to identify a person that has experienced and established great success in the passion that I am pursuing.  Furthermore I am to absorb facts about this person and see myself in their position.  Successful, proven, respected and sought after by the masses.  I must also consider the struggle, lessons and tireless efforts it took them to get to where they are. The challenge further encouraged me to get a picture of this person and place it in areas that I will reference daily as a point of focus.  In the event that discouragement invades my spirit along my journey, the picture of my inspirer will speak to me. Like a mother wooing her baby to take her first steps…. Come to me; One foot in front of the other; You can do it; Don’t get frustrated, Keep on trying, Get back up when you fall and start again, but never ever quit…

This person for me is none other than the notable Alice Malsenior Walker.  Born February 9, 1944, the world best knows her as the Author of the controversial fictional novel entitled “The Color Purple” published in 1982. The story depicts an African-American woman who suffered terrible physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father then her husband. As a result of years of abuse and low self-esteem, the woman finally breaks free and reclaims her life and identity. This labor of love won Walker the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in the fiction category. There are only 13 of these prizes awarded annually for literature, American Journalism, and music. Walker is the very first African-American woman to ever achieve this honor. She also won the National Book Award for Fiction that same year.

Just three short years after obtaining these prestigious and national recognitions, “The Color Purple” was released on movie screens across the country and was ultimately a huge success cross-culturally. The film received 11 Academy Award Nominations. In 2005 the books, made movie, appeared on Broadway as a musical.  This was also a tremendous success and performances can still be seen today in various theatrical venues.

Alice M. Walker is also a political activist very passionate about women’s rights, those of African-Americans and other cultures suffering injustices.  She has written multiple books, penned various essays, and scribed numerous poems. She is still very active today in voice as a teacher, speaker, inspirer and continues to flow in her first love of writing.

I pay homage to Ms. Walker in every sense of the word this month.  She has shown me that as long as you stay consistent and put your best work forward, God will open up doors you never could have dreamed possible.  It took one book to put her on the map and it did not take long before it went from book to movie to Broadway and beyond.  Her journey is amazing and forever will inspire me that success in this regard is truly possible.  A bonus for me is that her last name is Walker; equivalent to my maiden name.  Who knows, maybe there is a genealogy connection; if not, the very thought of it will forever ignite my dreams to keep the “Walker” legacy alive.

For more information on Alice M. Walker visit her website at:

http://www.alicewalkersgarden.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJR86ncuMgE – Alice Walker Interview

 

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