Alice Walker Influences

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The famous figure from contemporary society that I have selected is Alice Walker. Alice Walker is a political activist and author made most popular by her fictional work, The Color Purple in 1982. She was born in the American south in 1944 to an impoverished family of sharecroppers. At the time of her birth, America was in the middle of World War II, African Americans had not yet won their right to vote, segregation was the norm, and the roles of women generally centered around domestic and family life. Women, especially African American women rarely attended any post-secondary education or pursued work outside of their homes. If they did work, their choices were very limited and usually centered around some kind of maid service or work…show more content…
During the mid-1800s slavery was still legal in many states and depending on where she lived, African American's had little to absolutely no rights. It's likely she would have been born into slavery, receive no education whatsoever, been forced into domestic servitude and not given a choice in marriage and children. Even though slavery would soon be abolished, blatant racism was the norm and she would have been extremely limited in her choices and opportunities even more so than she was in the mid 1900's. Successful female African American role models during this time were extremely scarce and Alice Walker would not have had the benefit of the coinciding civil rights movement on her side back then. Her available resources would have been almost nonexistent and chances of success even more diminished. In the mid 1800's it was expected that a woman would depend on a man to support her and it was her duty to bear and raise children and manage the family. Alice Walker would have had almost everything working against her during this time. She was a woman, she was black, and she was born into poor socioeconomic circumstances. A hundred years later, these things would still be considered a liability but she had amazing figures such as Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King leading the way for social changes, other women fighting for equal rights, and a chance to rise above a given
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