Resources for Teachers and Students on Alice Walker
Prepare: Ever since winning the Pulitzer Prize in
1983 for her book, The Color Purple, Alice Walker has been
more renowned as a novelist than as a poet or essayist.
She is, however, an accomplished writer in all three genres.
is listed by the Academy of American Poets on their website.
Alice Walker's Architects
of Peace essay is excerpted from her collection of essays,
Anything We Love Can be Saved. Her premise is that peace
is related to the ability to take delight in other human
Explore: As its contribution each year to Black
History Month, Thomson Gale, an educational publishing house,
maintains a website of free resources for the educational
community. A critical
summary of Alice Walker's body of work, written
by Michael E. Muellero, can be found on the Thomson Gale
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Alice Walker
wrote, "I do not believe the people of the world are
naturally my enemies, or that animals, including snakes,
are, or that Nature is." As preparation to write a
three-to-five page persuasive essay, choose either to defend
or argue against this claim. At some point in your essay,
consider the following questions: Do human beings have natural
enemies? Is it a natural or unnatural state for humans to
consider each other enemies? Is it part of human nature
to value peace?
One of the international issues about which Alice Walker
has been outspoken, both in her writing and in interviews,
is female genital mutilation, FGM, which is practiced in
many countries as a rite of passage into womanhood. She
participated in making a documentary film called, "Warrior
Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding
of Women," and is also co-author of a book published
under this same title. It can be found in most libraries.
Additional Resource: The University of Minnesota
maintains a website about women writers of color called
from the Gaps." The Alice Walker resources
can also be accessed on this site.
Biography of Alice