Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia on February 9, 1944. A black child born into poverty, Walker started life with many disadvantages. Her family lived as sharecroppers in the deep South.
At the age of eight years, Walker lost eyesight in one of her eyes when an older brother accidentally shot her with a BB gun. Her childhood was typical of other black women of her time; she had to often confront racism and sexual abuse. Due to the loss of eyesight and scars on her face, Walker soon grew isolated from the rest of her community, spending most of her time reading and writing about the people around her. During this period, she developed a deep bond with her mother and other women relatives who inspired her to become an independent black woman. Despite these many obstacles, Walker grew up to be quite successful. She graduated at the top of her high school class and soon went on to graduate from college.Walker lived in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement and was an avid activist for minority and women's rights. In 1983, Walker was awaded the Pulitzer Prize for her most famous piece of writing, The Color Purple. Walker will be remembered not only as an award-winning author, but as a leader for black women's rights.