Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
In this video, Alice Walker shares stories from her childhood that highlight the strong female figures in her family, particularly her mother who stood her ground against the white landowner and insisted on an education for her children. These experiences inform her views on what it means to be a Southern black writer.
Alice Walker discusses how Zora Neale Hurston’s ability to portray black people as “undiminished human beings” shaped her as a writer. This is evident in The Color Purple which, like Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, blends the lyrical speech of the South with other kinds of prose.
Alice Walker chose to write The Color Purple as a series of letters in the spoken vernacular of the characters. This video from Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth explores the significance of Walker's decision to use this form and style of writing to convey the realities of African American life in the South in the first half of the 20th century.