Name: Alice Walker
Basics: A native of Georgia, Walker is one of the most respected African-American writers of today. Because an eye injury she received while she was young, Walker withdrew from the world and found solace in books and writing. She graduated valedictorian of her high school class and later attended Spelman College. Walker’s most famous work is The Color Purple for which she received The Pulitzer Prize and The National Book Award for. Walker is also a prominent voice in the black feminist movement.
Why I Chose Them: For various reasons (some good and some bad), the African-American community often makes a lot of jokes at the expense of this book (mostly because of the movie) and I think that is a shame. I’m not sure how Walker feels about how her work is treated today, but there should be a certain level of seriousness when it’s approached. It’s okay to crack jokes and make light of things because that is often a coping mechanism in the black community, but we can’t forget the serious issues that artists like her try to address. And we need to have some degree of seriousness about them.