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Quotes of the day: Alice Walker

Published Sunday, February 08, 2015 @ 11:32 PM EST
Feb 08 2015

Alice Malsenior Walker (b. February 9, 1944) is an American author and activist. She wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple (1982) for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.

Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.

Being happy is not the only happiness.

But please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended.

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

I grew up in the South under segregation. So, I know what terrorism feels like- when your father could be taken out in the middle of the night and lynched just because he didn't look like he was in an obeying frame of mind when a white person said something he must do. I mean, that's terrorism, too.

I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.

I think Africans are very much like white people back home, in that they think they are the center of the universe and that everything that is done is done for them.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.

I think unless the people are given information about what is happening to them, they will die in ignorance. And I think that's the big sin. I mean if there is such a thing as a sin, that's it, to destroy people and not have them have a clue about how this is happening.

If you want to have a life that is worth living, a life that expresses your deepest feelings and emotions and cares and dreams, you have to fight for it.

Ignorance, arrogance, and racism have bloomed as Superior Knowledge in all too many universities.

In search of my mother's garden, I found my own.

Life is abundant, and life is beautiful. And it's a good place that we're all in, you know, on this earth, if we take care of it.

Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.

Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be.

People always want to keep you in a little box or they need to label you and fix you in time and location.

People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools.

Sexuality is one of the ways that we become enlightened, actually, because it leads us to self-knowledge.

'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

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

The world is changing, I said. It is no longer a world just for boys and men.

Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to get attention we do, except walk?

What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.

Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.

Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.

You better not never tell nobody but God.


(February 9 is also the birthday of Brendan Behan.)

Categories: Alice Walker, Quotes of the day


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