Alice Walker is an American writer, poet, and activist. Born in Eatonton, Georgia on February 9, 1944, the daughter of sharecroppers, Walker was injured in a childhood accident that blinded her in one eye. Her mother felt Walker would be better suited for writing than doing chores. Her writing and academic prowess afforded her a scholarship to Spelman College, where she studied for two years before transferring to Sarah Lawrence College, where she graduated in 1965. After graduation, Waker moved to Mississippi to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She began teaching and writing poetry, short stories, and essays. In 1967, Walker married Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer and the couple became the first legally married interracial couple in Mississippi. The couple had a daughter before divorcing in 1976. Walker published her first book of poetry, Once (1968) and first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970) to much acclaim. In the late 1970s, Walker moved to Northern California where she wrote her most popular novel, The Color Purple, in 1982. The book, which explores themes of gender and sexuality and features a lesbian relationship, won a Pulitzer Prize. It was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1985 starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey would later produce a musical version of the book with Quincy Jones in 2004. Walker continues to publish essays, short stories, and poems including a memoir, The Chicken Chronicles, in 2011.
"Women's rights are inseparable from human rights."