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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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The Color Purple By: Alice Walker

Alice Walker born February 9, 1944 is an African American author and poet. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia the youngest of eight brothers and sisters. Alice grow up listening to stories from her grandfather which was the model for the character for Mr. in her book The Color Purple. When she was 14 she was accidentally shot in her right eye with a BB gun by one of her brothers leaving her permanently blind in that eye. While in high school she was named valedictorian, voted most popular girl, and was also queen of her senior class. After high school Alice went to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia on a full scholarship in 1961 but later transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York City. She graduated in 1965. She then became interested in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement which made here want to move back to

Georgia where she met and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While living back in Georgia she met and married Melvyn Rose Leventhal a Jewish Civil Rights lawyer. They later had a daughter named Rebecca in 1969. But later in 1976 Alice and her husband Melvyn divorced. After this hard and sad time in her life Alice took time to herself where she started to write some of her most famous books and poetry. In 1982 Alice wrote and published what has become her best known work the novel The Color Purple.

When writing her books Alice gets a lot of here ideas and stories from different historical and political events that have happen throughout U.S. history. Alice Walker's writings were greatly influenced by the political and societal happenings around her during the 1960s and 1970s. She not only wrote about events that were taking place, she participated in them as well. Her devoted time and energy into society is very evident in her work. The Color Purple, one of Alice most prized novels sends out a social message that concerns women's struggle for freedom in a society where they are viewed as inferior to men. The Civil Rights Movement was the largest influence on Alice writings. In a decision handed down by the Supreme court in 1954 the beginning of the Civil Rights occurred. In the decision of Brown vs. The Board of Education the court ruled that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal because it gave African American children a sense of inferiority and retarded their educational and mental development. That case began the Civil rights uprising in the United States. The Color Purple had a lot to do with the equal treatment of the sexes being that this also was an important issue in Alice life. In the 1970s the Supreme Court started invoking the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to invalidate government discrimination based on sex.

The Color Purple is a story told in the form of diary entries and letters by the main character Celie which she always starts by saying "Dear God". Celie is a poor uneducated black girl who at only age 14 is raped and impregnated twice by a man she believes is her father and calls Pa. Upon birth of both her children they are both taken from her by Pa and Celie believes that he has killed them both. Later Celie is forced to marry a man who she calls Mr. (Albert) who originally approaches Pa to ask permission to marry her younger sister Nettie. Shortly after moving into her new home with her now husband Mr. (Albert) Celie is surprised by a visit by Nettie. After Nettie



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