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Alice Walker Quotes About Love, Life and The Color Purple

Alice Walker quotes on Everyday Power!

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Alice Walker, the American novelist, became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1982.

Her award-winning novel, The Color Purple, is a heartbreaking coming-of-age period drama. 

The novel was turned into a movie in 1985 and featured (future) stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey.

Alice Walker has also written short stories and poems.

In fact, over the course of her career, she has published seventeen novels and short story collections, twelve non-fiction works, and collections of essays and poetry.

Alice Walker is also a social activist who has championed several causes like civil rights, womanism, and pacifism.

Keep reading through these Alice Walker quotes to learn more! 

Inspirational Alice Walker Quotes About Life

1. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker 

empowering Alice Walker Quotes

Everyday Application: You hold all the power. Your choices and decisions are yours. We give up our power when we let other people’s judgements and opinion’s dictate our lives. Embrace the fact that you are unique force to be reckoned with and explore just how powerful you can be!

2. “Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes for women

Everyday Application: Womanism is a term coined by Alice Walker to represent “a black feminist or feminist of color.” It was a way to unite women of color and the feminist movement. 

3. “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about friends

Everyday Application: Fill your inner circle with people who want the best for you and are willing to support you. Do the people in your inner circle have a vision for their own lives? Part of being a human means experiencing growth, and if the people you spend the most time with are not doing that, than neither will you. 

4. “Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is proof.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about hard times

Everyday Application: Dance furiously. You could take this literally as dancing helps build confidence, self-esteem, and has many other health benefits. However, you could also take this figuratively. Dancing furiously could be a metaphor for taking action, which is crucial during tough times. Either way, dancing can be good for your soul, so just do it! 

5. “What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about the mind

6. “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about activism

7. “Being happy is not the only happiness.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes on being happy

8. “In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes to inspire you

9. “A grown child is a dangerous thing.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about growing

10. “Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes and sayings

Alice Walker Quotes About Love, Life and The Color Purple

11. “‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Gratitude is one of the most important things we can learn to practice. Whether it is a prayer to God, a whisper into the universe, or just a feeling within yourself, gratitude is life changing. Thank you goes a long way!

Don’t forget to also check out our collection beautiful blue quotes that will delight your senses.

12. “Laughter isn’t even the other side of tears. It is tears turned inside out. Truly the suffering is great, here on earth. We blunder along, shredded by our mistakes, bludgeoned by our faults. Not having a clue where the dark path leads us. But on the whole, we stumble along bravely, don’t you think?” ― Alice Walker

Everyday Application: We do have a tendency to beat ourselves us for mistakes and pay attention to all our faults. However, most of us do try to keep stumbling along. However, what if we learned to laugh a little more and be kinder to ourselves?

13. “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: You do not need the validation of other people. Find your passion and your purpose and live a life that makes you happy. Want to live in a van on the ocean and practice yoga while doing odd jobs, then DO IT. Same goes if you want to run your own company and put in a ton of hours working. You do you! It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s opinion is!


14. “This is a wonderful planet, and it is being completely destroyed by people who have too much money and power and no empathy.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Sure, those of us with not so much money, might be able to smaller impacts. However,  there are a lot of us out there! If we all took a little better care of our planet, and showed more empathy, the world might be a much better place.

15. “It is justice and respect that I want the world to dust off and put – without delay, and with tenderness – back on the head of the Palestinian child. It will be imperfect justice and respect because the injustice and disrespect have been so severe. But I believe we are right to try.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Everyone deserves justice and respect. Walker reminds us that when we see things that are wrong we should try to fix them. Even if we believe our impact to be small or ‘not enough,’ we ought to try! 

Alice Walker Quotes about nature

16. “In nature, nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker 

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Everyday Application: We are all perfectly imperfect. Each of us is a beautiful part of humanity despite our flaws. Find the beauty in the world around you, and look for the good in yourself and others. None of us will achieve perfection, but we are each a unique miracle. 

17. “War contributes greatly to global warming, which shouldn’t surprise us. All those bombs going off, all those rockets, all those planes, and helicopters. All that fuel of various kinds being used. It pollutes the air and water of this very fragile and interconnected planet.” – Alice Walker

Everyday Application: As a pacifist, these words from Alice Walker are not surprising! Honestly, there are so many consequences of war, but the impact it has on our planet is often a neglected topic. 

18. “I understood at a very early age that in nature, I felt everything I should feel in church but never did. Walking in the woods, I felt in touch with the universe and with the spirit of the universe.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Nature reminds us that there is indeed something bigger than we are. Not in a religious way, but in a deeply spiritual sense. The power of the universe can be felt when looking up at the mountains or the vastness of the ocean. The delicacy of life can be see in things like snowflakes and spiderwebs. Spend time in nature everyday, it is good for the soul.

19. “At one point I learned transcendental meditation. This was 30-something years ago. It took me back to the way that I naturally was as a child growing up way in the country, rarely seeing people. I was in that state of oneness with creation, and it was as if I didn’t exist except as a part of everything.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: meditation has both physical and emotional benefits. The physical benefits of meditation include lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure, along with improving sleep. Some of the emotional benefits include increased self-awareness, gaining new perspectives, and reducing negative emotions. Check out this article for more tips on meditating.

Alice Walker Quotes about existence

20. “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Human beings tend to think that everything in this world exists for us to use or exploit in some manner. However, animals are a part of the world and nature and they have their own purposes. Just because bees make honey that we enjoy, doesn’t mean they were made for us. They were made to pollinate the plants. Check out this article about how Native Americans view the world and its inhabitants.

21. “Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Art, in any form enriches our lives. Or, it should, at least! Art stimulates our imagination, makes us more observant, and even helps us solve problems. Check out this article for when life imitates art.

22. “I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way…I can’t apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to… We will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful…We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about wonder

23. “I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.” – Alice Walker 

24. “…have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.” – Alice Walker 

25. “Everything wants to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.” – Alice Walker 

26. “The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men who shout.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about family and wisdom

27. “And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see — or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.” – Alice Walker 

28. “How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mother’s names.” – Alice Walker 

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29. “Ignorance, arrogance, and racism have bloomed as Superior Knowledge in all too many universities.” – Alice Walker 

30. “All partisan movements add to the fullness of our understanding of society as a whole. They never detract; or, in any case, one must not allow them to do so. Experience adds to experience.” – Alice Walker 

31. “For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes

32. “Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: People have power because we choose (in some way or form) to give it to them. Maybe, we don’t care enough to dispute their claims of superiority. Or maybe, we don’t want to do something as drastic as move onto a deserted island to avoid politicians. The reason doesn’t matter. What does matter is that nobody is a powerful as we perceive them to be; they are just humans like us.

33. “It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one’s children will become than for the children one’s “mature” critics often are.” – Alice Walker 

34. “It no longer bothers me that I may constantly be searching for father figures; by this time, I have found several and dearly enjoyed knowing them all.” – Alice Walker 

35. “Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.” – Alice Walker 

36. “Time moves quickly but passes quickly.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about mindset

37. “We sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to get the attention we do, except walk?” – Alice Walker 

38. “Never be the only one, except, possibly, in your own home.” – Alice Walker 

39. “It seems our fate is to be incorrect… and in our incorrectness stand.” – Alice Walker

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of fate quotes that will remind you to take each day one at a time.

40. “Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: Writing is incredibly powerful. Whether you choose to write in a journal or share your stories with the world, there is power in the act of putting your words to paper. Writing can help us know ourselves better, cope with trauma, or just appeal to our creative side. Check out this article for how writing can be a healing endeavor.

41. “There are those who believe Black people possess the secret of joy and that it is this that will sustain them through any spiritual or moral or physical devastation.” – Alice Walker 

42. “Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about life

43. “As long as the Earth can make a spring every year, I can. As long as the Earth can flower and produce nurturing fruit, I can, because I’m the Earth. I won’t give up until the Earth gives up.” – Alice Walker 

44. “Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.” – Alice Walker 

Everyday Application: People have a hard time with expectations. Often times we set them to high and then are disappointed. Other times we set them too low, and then settle for things we should not. In some areas of life, it is ok to live frugally on surprise. However, there are other areas, like relationships, where expectations are healthy! 

45. “I have learned not to worry about love, but to honor it’s coming with all my heart.” – Alice Walker 

Alice Walker Quotes about motivation

46. “I’m always amazed that people will actually choose to sit in front of the television and just be savaged by stuff that belittles their intelligence. ― Alice Walker

47. “It just seems clear to me that as long as we are all here, it’s pretty clear that the struggle is to share the planet, rather than divide it.”
― Alice Walker

48. “If you lie to yourself about your own pain, you will be killed by those who will claim you enjoyed it.”
― Alice Walker

49. “Writing poems is my way of celebrating with the world that I have not committed suicide the evening before.”
― Alice Walker

50. “He recognized her immediately when he saw her again. And what he recognized was her energy, which seemed to precede her. As if her spirit were thrusting itself forward, into the unknown; dazzled, charmed, challenged, hopeful, happy to be energized by the mysterious, loving the adrenaline rush of surprise.”
― Alice Walker

Alice Walker Quotes about respect

51. “Too much respect for people who are not respectful to you is a sure sign of insecurity.” ― Alice Walker

52. “Keep in mind always the present you are constructing. It should be the future you want.” ― Alice Walker

53. “I have the uncanny feeling that, just at the end of my life, I am beginning to reinhabit completely the body I long ago left.”
― Alice Walker

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Alice Walker Quotes about history

54. “All History is current; all injustice continues on some level, somewhere in the world.”
― Alice Walker

55. “The longer I am a writer–so long now that my writing finger is periodically numb–the better I understand what writing is; what its function is; what it is supposed to do. I learn that the writer’s pen is a microphone held up to the mouths of ancestors and even stones of long ago. That once given permission by the writer–a fool, and so why should one fear?–horses, dogs, rivers, and, yes, chickens can step forward and expound on their lives. The magic of this is not so much in the power of the microphone as in the ability of the nonhuman object or animal to BE and the human animal to PERCEIVE ITS BEING.”
― Alice Walker

56. “We do it because we care. We care that Vincent Van Gogh mutilated his ear. We care that behind a pile of manure in the yard he destroyed his life. We care that Scott Joplin’s music lives! We care because we know this: the life we save is our own.”
― Alice Walker

57. “And I don’t believe you dead. How can you be dead if I still feel you? Maybe, like God, you changed into something different that I’ll have to speak to differently, but you not dead to me Nettie. And never will you be.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

58. “We are a people. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children, and if necessary, bone by bone.”
― Alice Walker

59. “there was no sympathy for struggle that ended in defeat. Which meant there was no sympathy for struggle itself—only for “winning.”
― Alice Walker

60. “Without money of one’s own in a capitalist society, there is no such thing as independence.”
― Alice Walker

More Alice Walker Quotes

61. The more I wonder, the more I love. – Alice Walker 

62. “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” – Alice Walker

63. “Be nobody’s darling, be an outcast. Take the contradictions of your life and wrap around. You like a shawl, to parry stones, to keep you warm.” – Alice Walker

64. “Men make war to get attention. All killing is an expression of self-hate.” – Alice Walker

65. “Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.” – Alice Walker

Everyday Application: Are the things you spend your time doing in this moment things that will move you forward? If you have a goal to become a doctor in the future, then your present should be filled with tasks like going to college, volunteering in hospitals, reading medical journals, and doing what you need to do to get to med school. If your present time is spent going to parties, watching shows on Netflix for hours a day, or hanging out with friends, that future of being a doctor is going to get further and further away form you. Make sure your present and future align.

66. “People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” – Alice Walker

67. “The nature of this flower is to bloom.” – Alice Walker

68. “Helped are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.” – Alice Walker

69. “People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools.” – Alice Walker

70. “I’m pore, I’m black, I may be ugly and can’t cook, a voice say to everything listening. But I’m here.” – Alice Walker

The many causes of Alice Walker

Alice Walker is a social activist who supports many causes.

One of those causes is civil rights.

She met Martin Luther King, Jr., when she was a student at Spelman College in the 1960s.

She also participated in the 1963 March on Washington, along with hundreds of thousands of people.

In addition to civil rights, she coined the term womanism.

Womanism is a term that describes a feminist who is also a person of color.

Alice Walker said the term “gives us a word of our own.”

The purpose of womanism is to unite women of color and the feminist movement at “the intersection of race, class, and gender oppression.”

Womanism and civil rights were not the only causes that Alice Walker fought for.

She was also a strong proponent of pacifism.

She has been a longtime sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

In regards to pacifism she wrote, “So I think of any movement for peace and justice as something that is about stabilizing our inner spirit so that we can go on and bring into the world a vision that is much more humane than the one we have dominant today.”

What is your favorite Alice Walker quote?

Let us know in the comment section below!

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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