Alice Walker

American Masters Who Shaped Black History

In honor of Black History Month, American Masters looks at a selection of its archive to highlight artists and advocates who shaped America’s culture, changed the course of history, and took a stand in the Civil Rights Movement to create a lawful and just society for all. Browse the archive of American Masters for more. […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Biography and Awards

Alice Walker has been defined as one of the key international writers’ of the 20th century. Walker made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel “The Color Purple,” one of the few literary books to capture the popular […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Interview with Film Director Pratibha Parmar

Pratibha Parmar is the writer, director and producer of Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth. This first film biography about writer and activist Alice Walker tells Walker’s dramatic life story with poetry and lyricism. Watch Interview with Pratibha Parmar Parmar was drawn to the “incredibly compelling life” of Walker, who was born and raised on a […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

What’s in a Name to Alice Walker

Alice Walker’s great-great-great-great-grandmother walked as a slave from Virginia to Eatonton, Georgia, which is considered Walker’s ancestral home. She journeyed that distance with two babies on her hips, and she would go on to live to the age of 125. It is in memory of this walk that Walker chooses to keep and embrace her […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Danny Glover on Alice Walker

Actor and activist Danny Glover played the male lead in The Color Purple (1985), the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel. In this film outtake, Glover speaks about Walker’s literary work in the context of her continuous activism, beginning with the Civil Rights Movement in the South, where she was born and raised. Watch Danny […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Gloria Steinem on Alice Walker

“It’s not possible to separate Alice from her work,” says Gloria Steinem, a lifelong friend of Walker’s. “Of anyone I’ve ever known or could possibly imagine, she’s the most true.” Walker’s professional life connected her to Steinem, a writer, feminist organizer, and former editor of Ms. Magazine. Watch Gloria Steinem Speak About Alice Walker This […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Howard Zinn on Alice Walker

The late Howard Zinn gave one of his final interviews for the first film biography of Alice Walker, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth. Zinn first met Walker when she became his student at Spelman College. In this web exclusive outtake from the film, Zinn likens Alice Walker to Zora Neale Hurston, Walker’s “hero,” saying Walker […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker Went to College on a Segregated Bus

In this web exclusive film outtake, Alice Walker talks about how her father loved education and read everything he could find, even though he was only educated through grade 4 or 5 and lived a life of poverty working on a plantation. Walker recalls the day he put her on a segregated bus to go […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker Shines Light on Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston’s embrace of black culture and language was an inspiration to Alice Walker. “I realized that unless I came out with everything I had supporting her, there was every chance that she would slip back into obscurity,” Walker says of the Harlem Renaissance writer and anthropologist. Film Excerpt: Alice Walker on Zora Neale […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker Reads The Color Purple

In archival footage in Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, Walker reads from the novel for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The text is from a letter the novel’s protagonist, Celie, writes to her sister. Celie recounts the conversation she had with her friend Shug about God. Walker calls this “the God […]