Alice Walker Essay

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Black women living in the United States leading up to and during the civil rights era were unable to express themselves due to the closed minds of white America. In the essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” Alice Walker goes into great detail about the oppressions of African American women who were forced to endure not only racism and sexism, but classism as well. Walker goes on to talk about how spirituality is the only tool they had that could not be taken away. This was kept alive through folklore and anything else they could get a hold of that helped them to escape reality. Within the essay Walker speaks of several different instances of women before and during her time that were visionaries of indescribable proportions. Beginning with Virginia Woolf, a white author and essayist, Walker uses several quotes from her work entitled "A Room of One's Own" changing several examples in the script to fit the point she is making about the oppression of African American woman, in contrast to the privileged white woman. Privileges they possessed from simply the change in skin color. Walker shows an excerpt of the text for the aforementioned selection, directly displaying the differences between the races of the two women. A question raised from this essay that caught me personally, and was also somewhat mentioned in sub context is, why don't these women just let go of their spirituality and all those urges to let the inner artist out to lighten the burden on their already worn and abused shoulders? Simplistic as the answer is intricate, as I mentioned before was that the only thing they had of their own free will and that could not be taken from them (even though they did not know it yet). It was not tangible, but it was still there. No matter how it manifested itself, it was what kept a lot of their hearts beating and souls hopeful, no matter how battered and torn

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