Celebrating black American women's lives: An analysis of Alice Walker's selected texts.

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NUST, Department of Communication


From the American Revolution to the present, African American female writers have not only articulated the physical horrors of the female slave, but have also celebrated the black American women’s lives through their works. For Walker, African American women have suffered a triple oppression of gender, race and class. Thus, using the selected texts, this paper will show Walker’s preoccupation with the black American woman, especially the way she is marginalised and subjugated by both the colonial and slave system and her black male counterpart. As an African-American woman, Walker also celebrates the lives of the American black women by giving a voice to the oppressed and voiceless. In her narratives, she criticises both racist and sexist hegemony. This article will show how the women in the selected texts have played a myriad of roles in their search for self-definition and spiritual redemption. In The colour purple, The third life of Grange Copeland, and also in Walker’s essays, In search of our mother’s gardens, she argues that the black women have been notable for standing against oppression and have made significant contributions in the making of the American nation. Hence, this article intends to show that despite being oppressed, African-American women have never succumbed to victimhood. It seeks to examine how Alice Walker celebrates the black-American women’s search for identity and fulfilment through a harmonious coexistence with their men-folk. The article will conclude that Walker transcends binary oppositions to explore the oppressions, the insanities, the loyalties and triumphs of black women’. Through self-expression, her women characters undergo some form of transformation and hence celebrate a sense of wholeness embedded in a viable past.



African feminism, Oppression of women, Female subjugation, Subjugation of women, Gender issues


Pasi, J. S. (2013). Celebrating black American women's lives: An analysis of Alice Walker's selected texts. NAWA Journal of Language and Communication, 7(1), 29-44.