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Alice Walker ephemera

Identifier: MS-0822

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Content Description

The Alice Walker ephemera collection, 1988 to 2001, contains ephemera relating to American author, poet and activist Alice Walker. The collection consists of four items, including a bound “Alice Walker” calendar from 1986, a fundraising letter, a broadside of a letter Walker wrote and an autographed print of a quote from Walker's novel, The Color Purple.


  • Creation: 1988 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Alice Walker is an American poet, essayist, novelist and activist. She was born February 9, 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia, the eighth and youngest child of Willie Lee and Minnie Lou Grant Walker, who were sharecroppers. While growing up Walker was accidentally blinded in one eye by a BB gun. She received a scholarship to Spelman College, where she studied for two years before transferring to Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating in 1965, Walker moved to Mississippi and became involved in the civil rights movement. She also began teaching and publishing short stories and essays. She married in 1967, and the couple divorced in 1976.

Walker is known for championing racial and gender equality in her work. Her first book of poetry, Once, appeared in 1968, and her first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, was published in 1970. Her first collection of short stories, In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Woman, was published 1973, and bears witness to sexist violence and abuse in the African American community. After moving to New York, Walker completed Meridian (1976), a novel centered on the coming of age of several civil rights workers in the 1960s.

Walker later moved to California, where she wrote her most popular novel, The Color Purple (1982), which depicts the growing up and self-realization of an African American woman between 1909 and 1947 in Georgia. The novel won a Pulitzer Prize. Walker’s later fiction includes The Temple of My Familiar (1989), an examination of racial and sexual tensions; Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), a narrative centred on female genital mutilation; By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998), the story of a family of anthropologists posing as missionaries in order to gain access to a Mexican tribe; and Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2005), about an older woman’s quest for identity.

Walker authored numerous essays, compiled in In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983), Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon (2001), We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2006), and The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm’s Way (2013). Walker also wrote critical essays on such female writers as Flannery O’Connor and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as juvenile fiction.

Walker has won numerous awards and honors, including the Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Lillian Smith Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Merrill Fellowship.

Historical information adapted from sources: Alice Walker. (2017, March 15). Retrieved October 5, 2018, from

Britannica, T. E. (2018, September 28). Alice Walker. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from


.167 Cubic Feet (1 legal sized folder)

Language of Materials



The Alice Walker ephemera collection, 1988 to 2001, contains ephemera relating to American author, poet and activist Alice Walker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Waiting for Godot Books in July 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Kristen Diehl in October 2018.

Guide to the Alice Walker ephemera
Kristen Diehl
2018 October
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA