In search of our mother garden summary
There was a world in my eye. And I saw that it was possible to love it: that in fact, for all it had taught me of shame and anger and inner vision, I did love it. Even to see it drifting out of orbit in boredom, or rolling up out of fatigue, not to mention floating back at attention in excitement bearing witness, a friend has called it , deeply suitable to my personality, and even characteristic of me. Perhaps summing up all her essays, Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week p.
Shelves: women-authors , non-fiction , feminism-and-politics , people-of-color , anthologies-and-collections , theory. If you read my recent review of Alice Walker's famous novel The Color Purple, then you'll know that I think she is an excellent novelist. Well, dear readers, the good news is that she is also an incredible essayist. I would encourage teachers everywhere to use her essays in their classrooms as an example of the perfect personal essay especially Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self. If you know me or if you've read my blog, you know that I don't usually read non-fiction.
It usually bores m If you read my recent review of Alice Walker's famous novel The Color Purple, then you'll know that I think she is an excellent novelist. It usually bores me, and takes me forever to read. I read this book in less than two days, and I actually stayed up late to read it because I could not put it down. It's that good. The writing is excellent, and I learned so much about the experiences of black women, especially in the South. It was eye-opening, engaging, and just generally awesome. I cannot recommend it enough.
This was a huge book for me in my twenties - I love the short story about her looking for Zora Neale Hurston's grave and putting the tombstone on it herself - very inspiring and spoke to so much in my life - she lifts me up as a woman when I need a pick me up, cries with me when I am inconsolable and dance with joy as women do. Awesome book. Nov 11, E. Gross rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites.
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So powerful. Walker's prose continues to be an inspiration to me and speak to me long after I've left it. Jul 07, Andrea rated it it was amazing. I am starting to read more womanist literature and hope to get into some research eventually, so if anyone has any recommendations, I would gladly welcome them! View all 5 comments. Feb 24, Elizabeth rated it really liked it Shelves: mamalove , poc-author , feminism , essays.
This book made me cry. Poetry and essays on civil-rights, feminism, motherhood. Alice Walker rules. It chronicles her journey to identify the then-unmarked grave of Zora Neale Hurston in Ft. Pierce, Florida. It is a question with an answer cruel enough to stop the blood … When we have pleaded for understanding, our character has been distorted; when we have asked for simple caring, we have been handed empty inspirational appellations, then stuck in the farthest corner.
When we have asked for love, we have been given children. In short, even our plainer gifts, our labors of fidelity and love, have been knocked down our throats. To be an artist and a black woman, even today, lowers our status in many respects, rather than raises it: and yet, artists we will be. When I ask myself why this is so important, one of my favorite Bible passages comes to mind: I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! It is through remembering ourselves our sisters, our mothers, and yes, our brothers and non-gendered siblings too, that we find freedom in a less than free world.
Somehow it matters still, that I need to speak with her and it matters that she spoke her art at all. Mar 01, Johanna rated it really liked it. Will type up full review later. But suffice it to say, this is phenomenal. It is interesting how she positions the child throughout her essays: as a mother of a daughter and the former writer of history books for preschool children, she both considers the child within herself and the children growing up during and after the Civil Rights era.
She is very frank about her fears of balancing motherhood and her creative work, as well as her own struggles with self-consciousness and her family ties, which adds even more to the richness of her thoughts. It is clear that Walker is both an impassioned poet and an opinionated scholar, which is a beautiful combination.
In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens by Hamza Amjid on Prezi
Jul 20, Tessyohnka rated it really liked it. I was very happy that I'd read Hurston's book first because so much of Walker's discourse is about Hurston and her book.
We read this book for book club and my basic response was the realization that I learned so much from it -- I almost felt as if I should be taking notes -- and for me, that is an enjoyable feeling. So much info about black writers, the Civil Rights movement, and the perception of color as it relates to white black women and black black women. And while covering such topics, the book still reads quite easily. Very well written. I need to re-read this to assign stars how presumptuous that appears in the face of this sort of book.
This collection helped shape the better part of my teenage self, though I wonder if I found validation for my habits say, "Everyday Use" a bit too conveniently.
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- Essay Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mother's Gardens -- Alice Walker.
Regardless of my possible shortcomings in using the works to identify myself, I still feel grateful to Walker for getting her writings into the public's hands. Aug 22, Theresa rated it it was amazing. Perhaps the best book of essays I've ever read, and one of the first.
The title refers to one essay where the author visits the home of female white southern author Flannery O'Connor, now deceased, and discovers a familial connection. I still remember the peacocks on the property, though I've not read and reread and reread this book for years. Apr 28, Mark rated it really liked it. It appears they are doomed to be eternal transients.
It gave some of us bread, some of us shelter, some of us knowledge and pride, all of us comfort It gave us history and men far greater than Presidents. It gave us heroes, selfless men of courage and strength, for our little boys and girls to follow. It gave us hope for tomorrow.
Symbols in “In Search of Our Mother’s Garden” and reflection. -KD
It called us to life. Because we live, it can never die. Bold, brash and insightful. An excellent read. It took me a little over 2 years to complete this book. This is required reading for anyone on the femme spectrum, who refers to themselves as a feminist, for anyone Black, or any combination of the three. Two years to It took me a little over 2 years to complete this book. Jan 13, Olivia rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. It taught me a lot about why I love being me, why I love being a woman and why I love being black. May 20, Stephanie rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.
But if they are going to be bitter or vindictive they are not going to be able to do this. If it had just given this country Dr. King, a leader of conscience, for once in our lifetime, it would have been enough. If it had just taken black eyes off white television stories, it would have been enough. If it had fed one starving child, it would have been enough.
It gave some of us bread, some of us shelter, some of us knowledge and pride, all of us comfort. It gave us our children, our husbands, our brothers, our fathers, as men reborn and with a purpose for living. It broke the pattern of black servitude in this country. Nothing less or easier than that.
For you will find, as women have found through the ages, that changing the world requires a lot of free time. Requires a lot of mobility. Which means that women must be prepared to think for themselves, which means, undoubtedly, trouble with boyfriends, lovers, and husbands, which means all kinds of heartache and misery, and times when you will wonder if independence, freedom of thought, or your own work is worth it all. We must believe that it is.
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- Essay Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mother's Gardens.
I learned that the best person to talk about wealth and class was an upper-middle class person because she supposedly could look at it dispassionately. The best person to talk about race was a white person, for the same reasons. The best person to talk about gender was a boy. When people affected by issues spoke for themselves, they got too angry, too weepy, too irrational. In the mids, the biggest threat to America continued to be the welfare queen. My school was far too genteel to name the welfare queen outright, but she haunted our balanced class discussions. The welfare queen was worse than disease and death and the destruction of the icecaps.
I was acutely aware that, on the surface, I could potentially fit all the stereotypes of the welfare queen: I was black, the daughter of a single mother, on welfare and food stamps and living in the projects. I told myself it did not matter that my classmates and teachers described a reality that was not mine, was never mine, was so far removed from mine as to be a fiction. I wanted to be objective, too. I longed for that voice and the authority that came with it. My objective classmates did not know, for instance, about the garden.
The housing project we lived in had been built just before the war on poverty, probably intended for G. They were suburban-style tract houses, two units to each trim building. No one came to visit us there in the bad part of town. We had arrived not that long before, when we were a month away from homelessness, but I did not look at this as a place of shelter.
The other people in these projects were nearly all white. We were one of the few black families. To an outsider, there was little distinction between where we lived and the middle-class homes across the street. But everyone in our town knew which side of the street was which, which side was where the real people lived and which side was to be avoided. So when I answered the doorbell one spring afternoon when I was 14, I was very curious. Though they had not received the education Walker had been privileged to earn at Spelman College and Sarah Lawrence College, they were every bit as creative as she was discovering herself to be.
Walker sings the praises of Phillis Wheatley, the slave who is widely recognized as the first African American writer, male or female, and she wonders about Frances Harper, Nella Larsen, and her patron saint, Zora Neale Hurston. And Walker realizes one other important lesson: that the women who went before her paved the way for her own very different life. The poem that concludes the essay reads, in part:. How they knew what we Must know Without knowing a page Of it Themselves.