Friday, February 09, 2007

The most important question in the world is, 'Why is the child crying?'

A quote of Alice Walker's. Author of the Color Purple and many other writings.

"On Feburary 9, 1944, in the small farming community of Eatonton, GA, Willie Lee and Minnie Grant gave birth to their eighth and final child, a girl, they named Alice. Little did her parents know that their youngest daughter would become one of the most prolific, controversial and respected African-American novelists of the later-half of the 20th Century. But the potential in Willie Lee and Minnie Grant's baby may not have been recognized early on by others living in their farming community. Alice would have to overcome a number of difficulties in her lifetime that would profoundly influence the way she pictured herself and the world around her and would later help shape her views as a writer."

1944: February 9, Alice Malsenior Walker is born to sharecroppers, Willie Lee and Minnie Tallulah (Lou) Grant Walker in the farming community of Eatonton, GA.
1952: At the age of eight, Alice is accidentally blinded by one of her brothers while playing a game of "Cowboys and Indians."
1952-58: Alice is ostracized as an outcast because of her scar. To deal with her feelings of loneliness, Alice begins to read and write poetry.
1958: At the age of fourteen, while visiting her brother Bill in Boston, Alice is taken to a hospital to have the cataract in her eye removed. She becomes confident and her life is transformed.
1960: Alice graduates as valedictorian from her high school class. She is voted most popular student of her graduating class and is elected queen of the prom.

1961: Alice Walker is awarded a scholarship to attend the historical African-American woman's institution, Spelman College.
1961-63: During her time at Spelman, Alice participates in civil right's movement as an activist.
1963: She leaves Spelman College which she finds too puritanical to attend Sarah Lawrence, a liberal arts college in New York City.
1964: After her junior year at Sarah Lawrence, Alice travels abroad during the summer to become an exchange student in Uganda.
1965: In the winter, during her last few months of school, Alice learns that she is pregnant. For three days Alice sleeps with a razor blade underneath her pillow and contemplates suicide. A friend of hers locates a doctor to help Alice get an abortion.
1965: After the abortion, Alice suffers from anxiety and depression. She writes poems based on her experiences which she submits to her writing teacher and mentor Muriel Rukeyser. Her professor submits them to her agent for review. These poems will become the basis of Alice's first book of poetry, Once, which will not be published until three years later.

1965: Walker returns to the south to work in voter registration and promoting welfare rights in Georgia.
1967: Alice falls in love with Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal who she marries on March 17, 1967. He later becomes an attorney who prosecutes civil rights cases in court. They move to Mississippi in becoming the state's first legally married interracial couple in history.
1967: Alice Walker publishes her first short story, "To Hell with Dying," based in reaction to her depression.
1969: Alice's work in Georgia helps her to see the effect poverty on relationships between black men and women.
1969: With the help of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Walker finishes The Third Life of Grange Copeland, three days before her daughter, Rebecca Grant's birth.
1969: Becomes a Writer in Residence at Jackson State University, where she teaches Black Studies Courses.
1970: "Third Life of Grange Copeland" is published.
1970-71: Walker is appointed a "Writer in Residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi

1970: While researching for a short story on voodoo, Alice discovers the folk stories of Zora Neale Hurston.
1972: Alice moves with her daughter Rebecca to Massachusetts where she is taught at Wellesley College a course on African-American Women Studies, the first class of its kind in the country. She also teaches classes at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
1973: Alice and a friend, Charlotte Hunt, fly down to Eatonville, FL, Zora Neale Hurston's birthplace and places a tombstone on her unmarked grave.
1973: Alice's second volume of poetry, Revolutinary Petunias and Other Poems is published, along with her first short story collection, In Love and In Trouble: Stories of Black Women.
1974: Alice Walker moves back to New York where she becomes a contributing editor at Ms. Magazine. Her book Langston Hughes: American Poet is published.
1976: She and her husband Mel Leventhal divorce amicably.
1976: Her novel Meridian is published. Critics hail it as one of the best novels to come out of the Civil Rights movement.
1976: Alice begins work on her third work of poetry, "Goodnight Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning."

1978:Alice Walker is awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Grant.
1979:She packs up her bags in New York, sells her house and moves to San Francisco to begin writing on her third novel.
1981:Her second collection of short stories comes out, You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down.
1982:Alice Walker's third Novel The Color Purple is published and is nominated for a National Book Award.
1982:Alice Walker becomes a professor at University of California duirng the Spring and Bradeis University during the Fall.
1983: Her first collection of essays In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens is Published
1984:Her third collection of poems come out, Horses Make a Landscape More Beautiful.
1984: Her publishing company,Wild Trees Press is begun with her long-time boyfriend, Robert Allen.
1986:The Color Purple premieres on January 18 in her hometown of Eatonton, GA.

1988:Alice Walker's second book of essays Living By the Word is published.
1988:Alice Walker company Wild Trees Press closes.
1989:Alice's fourth novel, Temple of My Familiar is published.
1991:Alice's second children's story is released Finding the Green Stone is published and her collected book of poems is released Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990
1992:Alice's fifth novel is released, Possessing the Secret of Joy a novel that discusses the horrors of the effects of Female Genital Mutilation.
1993:Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women is published. The film makes its United States debut.
1996:Alice's third book of essays Same River Twice is released.
1998:By the Light of My Father's Smile is released

You can read a more detailed and very interesting Bio written by Alice herself here.

Other News and Facts on this Day in History.
Feb.9th 2007 Human e-mailed comment to Jack Cafferty. Comment read on air by Jack Cafferty at 5:56pm EST. Human felt quite a Rush. It was in response to his 5 O'clock question; "What's the message when virtually every major government official has a higher negative rating than positive?" I wrote in my response and signed "Human" by accident. I meant to put my real 1st name. Jack(we are on a 1st name basis now)read -
"H. from Pennsylvania said, "It means that both parties are responsible for the Mis Management of Government. It's time for people to start taking a look at 3rd party candidates. 'Course they will have to look hard. The MSM doesn't show them or let them speak."(I think he added "on the air" which I did not write, but sounds better, thanks Jack) I didn't save the e-mail(embedded on CNN site)and I didn't expect him to read it as I've sent quite a few in the past. So I'm paraphrasing myself to the best of my ability. The name Human musta confused them, so Jack said "H".