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Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis welcomes Alice Walker in conversation with Pearl Cleage for a celebration of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000. From National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker and edited by critic and writer Valerie Boyd, comes an unprecedented compilation of Walker’s fifty years of journals drawing an intimate portrait of her development over five decades as an artist, human rights, and women’s activist, and intellectual. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. Copies of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire ordered from Charis will come with a signed bookplate from Alice Walker (while supplies last).

For the first time, the edited journals of Alice Walker are gathered together to reflect the complex, passionate, talented, and acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner of The Color PurpleShe intimately explores her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African-American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world.

In an unvarnished and singular voice, she explores an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, defying laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the Women’s Movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the ancestral visits that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, sometimes in equal measure, for her work and her activism; and burying her mother. A powerful blend of Walker’s personal life with political events, this revealing collection offers rare insight into a literary legend.

Alice Walker is a distinguished author and activist who has written dozens of books, including novels, poems, essays, short stories, and children’s books. She was the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award in 1983. Walker’s other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. More than fifteen million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. As an activist, Walker focuses on issues of inequality, poverty, and social injustice.

Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta based writer currently Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Alliance Theatre. Her plays include Flyin' West, Blues for an Alabama Sky, What I Learned in Paris and Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous. She is the author of 8 novels, including What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, which was an Oprah Book Club pick and a New York Times bestseller. She is co-author with her husband writer Zaron Burnett, Jr., of We Speak Your Names, a praise poem celebrating the lives of African American women. Her play Blues for an Alabama Sky is in production at LA's Mark Taper forum, directed by Phylicia Rashad,and will open in the fall at London's National Theatre. She is currently working on Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard, a commission from Ford's Theatre Lincoln Legacy Project. She was recently named Atlanta's first Poet Laureate.

Valerie Boyd was the editor of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000 and the author of the critically acclaimed biography Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, winner of the Southern Book Award and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award. She was the founder and director of the MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault professor of journalism at the University of Georgia. She was editor-at-large at the University of Georgia Press and senior consulting editor for The Bitter Southerner

We offer this event in memory of Valerie Boyd's tremendous contributions to our Georgia literary community and in solidarity with all who mourn the loss of her brilliance and light. 

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000 By Alice Walker, Valerie Boyd (Editor) Cover Image
By Alice Walker, Valerie Boyd (Editor)
$32.50
ISBN: 9781476773155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 12th, 2022

From National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker and edited by critic and writer Valerie Boyd, comes an unprecedented compilation of Walker’s fifty years of journals drawing an intimate portrait of her development over five decades as an artist, human rights and women’s activist, and intellectual.

For the first time, the edited journals of Ali


Sweet People Are Everywhere (Children Around the World Books, Diversity Books) By Alice Walker, Quim Torres (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alice Walker, Quim Torres (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781734761818
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tra Publishing - November 2nd, 2021

“Deepened and expanded by its illustrations, this is a stunning introduction to the true meaning of a global community.”—School Library Journal

 They are all over the globe.


The Color Purple: A Novel By Alice Walker Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143135692
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 10th, 2019

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic is now a Penguin Book.


Possessing the Secret of Joy By Alice Walker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781595583642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - May 6th, 2008

From the author the New York Times Book Review calls a lavishly gifted writer, this is the searing story of Tashi, a tribal African woman first glimpsed in The Color Purple whose fateful decision to submit to the tsunga's knife and be genitally mutilated leads to a trauma that informs her life and fatefully alters her existence.


In Search Of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose By Alice Walker Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780156028646
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - May 17th, 2004

Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker's collection of essays ranging in topics from personal to political. "Thoughtful, intelligent, resonant musings." — Kirkus Reviews

In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist.


Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart By Alice Walker Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781501179525
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: 37 Ink - October 2nd, 2018

* WINNER of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work *

Alice Walker, author of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple—“an American novel of permanent importance” (San Francisco Chronicle)—crafts a bilingual collection that is both playfully imaginative and intensely moving.

Presented in both


Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems By Alice Walker Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781608681884
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New World Library - August 27th, 2013

"Though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one."
-- from the preface

I was born to grow,
alongside my garden of plants,
poems
like
this one


We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness By Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781620976739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - November 2nd, 2021

The New York Times bestselling book that both galvanizes progressives for action and is a balm--from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author


"A light in darkness, Alice Walker awakens us to our own power as only she can. . . . Once again, Walker has exceeded our expectations." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston By Valerie Boyd Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9780743253291
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - February 3rd, 2004

From critically acclaimed journalist Valerie Boyd comes an eloquent profile of one of the most intriguing cultural figures of the twentieth century—Zora Neale Hurston.

A woman of enormous talent and remarkable drive, Zora Neale Hurston published seven books, many short stories, and several articles and plays over a career that spanned more than thirty years.


Flyin' West and Other Plays By Pearl Cleage Cover Image
$21.95
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781559361682
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 1st, 1999


"Pearl Cleage is a passionate, challenging playwright whose concerns for the species are unmistakable and profound. As a woman, as an African-American, her artistic objectivity and sensitivity to history combine with, but do not overshadow, her capacity to dig for truth and present it flat out as she sees it - with a finger snap or a shout and sometimes with a wink.


What Looks LIke Crazy On an Ordinary Day (Idlewild #1) By Pearl Cleage Cover Image
$14.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780061710384
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 27th, 2009

After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living with the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams, Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild—her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines to be the end is, instead, a beginning.


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Alice Walker in conversation with Pearl Cleage for a celebration of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000.