In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Find Our Own

from:  In Search Of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Womanist Prose, 1983

(in English y Español)

How to read this page:  The Spanish translation, by Cuban poet Manuel Verdecia, will usually appear shortly after the English post.  Scroll down to other, earlier entries in English and Spanish.  Amanda Navarro is webmaster.


January 2018

Lesson:  Never Wander Into the Marketplace
After a Silent Retreat.
Or During.  Which Is What I Just Did.

Copyright©2018 by Alice Walker

Perplexed by signs for “bookstore” and finding none, I wandered once again down the path beside the new community building.  I saw folks going in. I had wondered about the lineup of small Buddhas outside the building.  Of course! The bookstore and market!  In I went. Not thinking this was not wise to do on day five of a weeklong silent retreat.

I found so many lovely things inside!  Spring’s book!  Larry’s book!  Prayer flags!  So many lovely things – and of course I chose many!

But then I looked in vain for a salesperson.  None appeared! I went here and there!

Finally I realized there was – this being the up to date commercial age- no sales person! I saw the instructions for how to pay for my purchases by myself.  I found them extremely complicated.  My spaciness?  Yes, but also, my kind of mind. Not good with gadgets and especially intimidated by financial questions and the tapping of machines to “wake them up” at nine o’clock in the morning!

Oh, I tried! And I am glad I made the effort. At least I was not defeated without some attempt to comprehend the machine. To its credit (no pun) it’s written message said plainly: “I prefer cash and checks.” Forgetting I had cash, though no checks, I endeavored the plastic route.  No dice.  I was royally frustrated within minutes!

I decided to save myself complete meltdown and wrote a note (hopefully) to management:  “This is too complicated by far.  Where is the humanity in this? (Envisioning marketplaces in other parts of the world with kids and their grandparents and maybe even a goat or two around.)  Or the sales, for that matter?” – I signed, and left all my lovely, would -be purchases on the counter.

Came up the hill to meditation in something of a huff.  Went straight to the Forgiveness dharma talk by Larry Yang in which he seemed to have watched the entire situation in the bookstore. Especially my somewhat sour (I bet!) glance at the smiling woman at the entrance of the building.  Poor thing!  What clue could she have had?

Anyway, a teaching about exchanging self for other.  In other words, lighten up, not tighten up! And don’t go shopping in the middle of a silent retreat!


This was all settled beautifully of course.  As I was leaving the retreat with a friend she suggested we go inside the bookstore and re-select my would-be purchases. She was handy handling machines, she said.  Her interaction with post- modernity up to date! In fact, they were all still on the counter, just where I left them! I bought two copies of Spring Washam’s amazing book, A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom In Any Moment, and two of Larry Yang’s bedrock of a Buddhist book for communities of color: Awakening Together: the Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community.  I got my Tibetan prayer flags, because by now all my old flags are gray and torn, literally shredded by the wind.

The book I hadn’t expected to carry me off, that I bought mainly because I love Taoist poetry, is beside me now as I type:  The Activist’s Tao Te Ching:  Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution  by William Martin.  Rarely has a book touched so directly the places this revolutionary and poet needed, these days, to be touched.

Listen to this:


Noise confounds our leaders.
They don’t know what to do.
Scurrying this way, then that,
they never find the silent Tao
If they could find that silence,
the country would transform itself.
Simplicity and freedom from desire
would become the natural way,
and destructive habits would fall away,
replaced by patient compassion for all life.

Leaders will never find that silence while serving the current system.  Since dollars have become speech, the noise has overwhelmed all possibility of silence. No one in leadership has ears to hear the quiet among the cacophony of special interests. New systems must be founded on a stillness, a serenity where decisions can be considered from a place of wisdom, not from urgency or expediency.  Of course, we can’t form such systems until we find a silent place within ourselves.

-William Martin

Shopping while pursuing peace definitely interferes with finding this silent place. -AW

Meanwhile:  I just finished FIRE AND FURY, Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff.  It is deeply troubling and positively deeply important.  We might not survive this debacle, but I cheer the writer’s craft, and courage, and willingness to alert humanity.


Encouraged by the Miracles of Life

©2018 by Alice Walker

for Rebecca, Tenzin and Rachel

December 6, 2018

For instance:
The wisdom of the mango tree.

Two years ago

A hurricane
Named Patricia
-The worst storm
ever to hit Earth
according to those keeping record
of relatively recent times-
Destroyed two mango trees
I planted thirty years

With sorrow, we pulled up one stump
But while preparing
To pull up stump #2
We noticed at the very top
Of it
Clinging for dear life,
A tiny twig of a branch had started
To grow.

It’s solitary tenacity
Moved me.

I grieved the huge tree
The Mango used to be
With luscious mangoes
Hanging down
And hanging as well
A bright green swing
I had placed on a stout branch
For my grandchild.

Last year I noticed the tiny branch
Left out of pity on the otherwise
Dead seeming stump
Had begun to grow.

This year I see it has grown
And has shaped itself
Into a tree.

From a distance you cannot even tell
This “tree” is growing
Out of a stump!

Here is the miracle –
How did it know

To do this?

That though only a sprig of a branch
And a spindly one
At that
How did it know
It was supposed to be
A tree!

Next year it may well
Produce mangoes!

From this experience
My faith in us

In just this way
The way of the tiny mango twig
That knew it was supposed
To be a tree
We will also know

-however betrayed, broken, deformed or distorted
we may become, whole parts of us sheared off in a multitude
of human storms –

That we are meant to be
Upstanding, fully rounded,
Goodness producing
Human beings.

We will grow ourselves back
To our original form
If even one leaf is left to us;
And we will drop our fruit
To nourish the world.




December 2017

Movie Coco boy guitar Alice Walker website 2017-12

A Good Prayer For Starting One’s Day In These Times …

Humans are amazing.  Thank You

For Making Us! 

Whoever or Whatever You are,

Of whatever Dimension or Frequency!

Thank you for giving us Ourselves to enjoy!

For instance, I went last night to my local movie palace in Oaklandia (as Frida Kahlo would call it) and saw the Pixar movie COCO, which revolves around the Mexican custom of celebrating the Day of the Dead.  As usual I knew almost nothing about it beforehand.  Someone I admire said she’d heard it was great.  Well, “great.”  You know. But even so.  She is great and I went from there.  It is a marvel!  Which I won’t give away except to say it warmed my heart once again to see that artists of all kinds are stepping up to their global duty to bring dignity and clarity and compassion and understanding back into the world.

As someone who has loved Mexico from long before I fled Mississippi to be temporarily restored by the soulfulness of Oaxaca almost half a century ago, it has been torture to hear the rude, ignorant things said about Mexico and Mexicans by someone temporarily in office as US president.  He clearly understands nothing of the depth and greatness of the Mexican soul.

Watching COCO (how it was even made is a mystery!) I was reminded of my own first encounter with Day of the Dead ceremonies in a huge cemetery many miles from the city of Oaxaca.  First of all, I was taken there by a gay Mexican man who explained to me that in his culture (Indigenous rather than Conquistador) there has always been a traditional role for gay men:  one of which is to take care of the family altar.  Another is to make sure that marigold petals (plentiful and bright orange) reach thickly from doorway to street so the souls returning to check out the altar can find their way home.  Another is to accompany their sisters in society so that no one dares be uncivil to them.  Also, a duty to introduce strangers, beautifully, to a ritual unknown to them: the celebration of the Mexican family’s connection to its dead.

I think I’ve written about this in my journals, coming soon as GATHERING BLOSSOMS UNDER FIRE, but essentially what happened is I was simply astonished at this humongous celebration of the rich dance between life and death being played out in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a cemetery that seemed as large as a small city.  People eating and drinking, playing every instrument imaginable, playing cards… in fact, partying around their family’s tombstones and tombs.  I was enchanted.  A state I love!

But then, just as I was swooning over all this, I heard the most beautiful singing I’ve heard in my life, and I am from Georgia, where folks have been known to carry a tune!  What is that?  I wanted to know.  And our guide courteously led us through all the lights and revelry to the very back of the cemetery where there stood the ruins of a church, inside of which dozens of people were singing.  Well, yes, I started to weep.  But not as much as when I asked:  Who are they and why are they singing these mournful and soul stirring songs, and my friend said:  They are singing for those to whom no one comes to visit.

What can one say?  There are people in this world who know what Soul is.  The movie COCO shares with us some of this.  Soul.  In Southern black culture, for centuries, this word had huge significance; today a somewhat related meaning would be empathy.  Which we quickly noted our enslavers lacked.




 I Live Now As If I Will Never See You Again

Copyright 2017 by Alice Walker

I live now

As if I will never see you


I should have been living

This way all along.

Here is a cure for every kind

Of impatience

& Irritation;

Every anticipation

Of regret.

I love you as I love the fields

That I see

From my window,

Like them

Your colors are changing;

Some are fading.

They are still, these fields

But only from a distance;

Up close even the bees

Are dancing.

Everything moves.

One day the slowly

Growing trees


Rob us of the view.


Cultivate a sense

Of having been born

For this time.

The best “marriage”

You can make now

Is between you

And society.

For my dancing friends at Stanford University. 



November 2017


Mandela on historic trip to Palestine this week

(26 to 29 November 2017)

Nelson Mandela trip to Palestine November 2017 Alice Walkers Garden

PRESS ALERT – Mandela on historic trip to Palestine this week (26 to 29 November 2017)

26 November 2017

Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela MP, is on a historic visit to Palestine. Mandela, who arrived in Palestine this morning (Sunday 26 November), will hold several meetings with Palestinian leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas.

Chief Mandela will also visit the Holy Towns of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, both located in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, as well as the mausoleum of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. Mandela’s grandfather, Nelson Mandela, was a close friend of Arafat having explained in his famous Ted Koppel interview that: “Our stand is that Arafat is a comrade in arms and we treat him as such” (video source:

Chief Mandela, who is a senior Member of the South African Parliament, is a close ally of the BDS movement and Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid. On Thursday evening in Amman (Jordan), prior to his entry to Palestine, Chief Mandela had a meeting and received a briefing from Palestinian leader, Omar Barghouti, of the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

Following his meeting with Mandela, Barghouti commented that: “Chief Mandla Mandela is exceptionally inspiring, not only for carrying forward Madiba’s legacy of justice and internationalism, but also for seeing solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a South African ethical obligation. Palestinians are proud of and deeply grateful for this solidarity from Madiba, Chief Mandla Mandela and from the great people of South Africa.” During his meeting Barghouti reiterated Palestinian support for the shut down of the SA Embassy in Tel Aviv.

To arrange an interview with Chef Mandla Mandela while in Palestine or for further information on his itinerary contact: +27 (0) 74 054 3826

Source: Issued by Kwara Kekana on behalf of BDS South Africa

Comunicado de prensa traducido al español


It Is Our (Frightful ) Duty

 To Study The Talmud

©2017 by Alice Walker

The first time I was accused

Of appearing to be anti-Semitic

The shock did not wear off

For days.

The man who charged me

Was a friend.

A Jewish Soul

Who I thought understood

Or could learn to understand

Almost anything.

He could not understand


Why I thought Israel should give back

The land it took

From a poorly defended

People in a war that lasted

Six days. I cringed

About our small house

In Mississippi (where black people

Often assumed he was a racist)

Deeply offended by his attempt

To insult my character

And spoke to him

Earnestly of “dignity” “justice”

“honor” and “peace.”

Sometimes, later in life,

You do laugh at yourself.

You understand, finally,

That you’ve understood

Nothing. Nothing at all.

That in this case, for instance,

That of the famed Six Day War,

It was all a show,

A true “Theatre” war;

The battlefield a stage,

Though bombs and bullets were real.

Only the people who lost the battle

Got a close-up

Of the set.

And the set-up.

Later I would march

Or be arrested

Protesting this war and that

And marvel how it never mattered.

On days we marched in our tens of thousands

The people we hoped to influence

Were taking a holiday. Bush was

good at this. He let the media

Spread the word he was chillin’ on his

12,000 or is it 20,000

Acre ranch.

Bill and Barack made themselves


When I was in Palestine

As an elder

Doing my job

Of keeping tabs

On Earth’s children

I remembered my concern

And how my friend

Had brushed it off.

“Israel needs that land to protect itself.”

He said. As though this should be

Self- evident. It wasn’t then;

It isn’t now.

The land taken

Has never been returned.

In fact, more stolen land

Has followed the first assaults

And thefts.

Palestinian children, after years

Of throwing stones

At grown up assassins

In helmets and armored tanks

Are killing themselves

These days

To save their murderers

The trouble.

Unlike most Americans

I have witnessed Palestine

Under Israeli rule. It is demonic

To the core. But where to look

For the inspiration

For so much evil? Where

To find the teachings that influence

And sanction such limitless cruel behavior?

Where to find that part

Of the puzzle that is missing?

We’ve intuited there must be one.

And we were right.


We must go back

As grown ups, now,

Not as the gullible children we once were,

And study our programming,

From the beginning.

All of it: The Christian, the Jewish,

The Muslim; even the Buddhist. All of it, without exception,

At the root.

For the study of Israel, of Gaza, of Palestine,

Of the bombed out cities of the Middle East,

Of the creeping Palestination

Of our police, streets, and prisons

In America,

Of war in general,

It is our duty, I believe, to study The Talmud.

It is within this book that,

I believe, we will find answers

To some of the questions

That most perplex us.

Where to start?

You will find some information,

Slanted, unfortunately,

By Googling. For a more in depth study

I recommend starting with YouTube. Simply follow the trail of “The

Talmud” as its poison belatedly winds its way

Into our collective consciousness.

Some of what you find will sound

Too crazy to be true. Unfortunately those bits are likely

To be true. Some of the more evasive studies

Will exhibit unbelievable attempts

At sugar coating extremely disagreeable pills.

But hang in there, checking

And double checking, listening to everybody,

Even the teachers with the twisted pasts

That scare you the most,

And the taped rants of outraged citizens that sound

Like madcap characters on Car Talk

Except they are not laughing

But are righteously outraged.

Study hard, with an open

If deeply offended mind,

Until you can sift the false

From the true.

Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,

For his “crime” of throwing the bankers

Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,

And defending

The poor? Was his mother, Mary,

A whore?

Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only

That, but to enjoy it?

Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?

Are young boys fair game for rape?

Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?

Pause a moment and think what this could mean

Or already has meant

In our own lifetime.

You may find that as the cattle

We have begun to feel we are

We have an ancient history of oppression

Of which most of us have not been even vaguely

Aware. You will find that we, Goyim, sub-humans, animals

-The Palestinians of Gaza

The most obvious representatives of us

At the present time – are a cruel example of what may be done

With impunity, and without conscience,

By a Chosen people,

To the vast majority of the people

On the planet

Who were not Chosen.

Not chosen to receive the same dubious

“Blessing” of

Supremacy over the Earth,

Humans, and Beasts of this realm. As is

Stated plainly in the first chapter

Of the Bible we all read.

The Unchosen who, until now,

Were too scared of being

Called names

To demand to know why.

It is a “Blessing” Jesus did not want.

One that, risking crucifixion, he refused.

One reason he is loved

By those who recognize a good

And righteous person

When they encounter one.

Seen in this light he wasn’t even

A spiritual progressive, but a committed

Revolutionary: a Che Guevara

Of the ancient past.

A past as scary, if not scarier, than

Our own time: A past that,

Unfortunately, is not even past (quoting


We discover this

To our enlightened grief

As we study

The Talmud,

Our own ignorance,

And the devastating impact of both

On our abandoned world.


See: The General’s Son: Journey of An Israeli In Palestine, by Miko Peled, introduction by Alice Walker

Also interview with Miko Peled below.

Source:  posted on July 2, 2013, Interview on BFM radio during my visit to Malaysia  –


The Balfour Declaration: What Really Happened – The David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast  (Very informative and clarifying).

Also:  A Netflix Original Documentary:  One of Us, about  three people who leave the Hasidic community in Brooklyn, New York.  I like very much “entertainment” that focuses on freeing people and making them happier!  More please.


October 2017


©2017 by Alice Walker



I never experience October 9th

Without giving thanks

For John Lennon

Someone who had his head

On straight.

This year was no different;

I miss him still.

Perhaps he and Medgar Evers,

Viola (Liuzzo:the Italian-American

 Who came to help);the black

Women and men with no marker

To name them; Bobby, Martin, Jack,

Malcolm (who was such a man);

And Marilyn (who just mysteriously

This moment wrote herself in!) and all

The rest of them, in their thousands,

Probably millions,

Are sitting somewhere comfy

In the Afterlife, chatting.


They are discussing mostly

What they could not have understood.

That is the biggest sorrow.  Apparently.

I feel it myself.


And then there were the fires…


Continue Reading the full poem, AND THEN THERE WERE THE FIRES

Continúa leyendo el poema completo, Y Entonces Ocurrieron Los Fuegos…



Or Were You Once A Child?

©2017 by Alice Walker

If you were once a child

Remember how it was

When the big men

Who were not smiling

Came for you?

They were not soldiers


But uncles, fathers,



It was their bigness

That scared you.

Now they are coming

Six feet tall

In full battle gear;

You have nothing

Or maybe a tee shirt

And flip flops:

Your face might reach

A belt.

Add to this

The whole world

Ignores you.

We are the world

That has failed the children

Of this planet

Not just in Africa

Most miserably and most long

But most grievously this day

This century

Last century too

The children of Palestine.

Where is the place

We will go to weep

When the time comes

For our own oblivious

Children and grandchildren

To face this terror:

Secure in their gadgets and soccer dreams?

When the big men come wearing dead faces

Guns, knives, scowls

Hats of steel


Big boots.

This photo (and others as horrifying), was sent by the beloved Israeli witness, Nurit Peled-Elhanan. Under the title:  Saturday Hunting.  Another photo shows a child with a head injury being held at a check point for five hours. No wonder the children of Palestine are committing suicide at an alarming rate.

The Temptations Berkeley Rep Alice Walker Website 2017-10-03

A dozen of us took ourselves to see Ain’t Too Proud, The Life and Times of The Temptations, now playing at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley.  It was wonderful.  And so was the audience, which grooved along song after song as if they remembered, as most of us did, the moment each melody first startled and swooned our hearts, all those years ago when the Temptations were the prize of Motown and King of Rhythm and Blues.  There are many lessons explored in this very exciting play, chief of them that one must sing one’s own song, which black people always did in the past; that “getting to the top” (after singing something somebody else dreamed up for you) often means discovering a lot of slimy things crawling around up there.  But also, in a culture where “success,” to be seen, has to be gigantic, how to cultivate enough modesty to avoid giving away one’s essence to the vapor of fame; rather than saving our best for the comfort of those who love us. American culture is hard on us all…

Continue Reading, Ain’t Too Proud, The Life and Times of The Temptations! and Watch a Video of the performance


A Trinity of Enlightenment: Never Caught, Life’s Work, and Black Ink

never caught book cover alice walkers garden 2017-09

It is a delight to know that Never Caught is being taken up by readers as food for the merciless journey of our people in these United States.  Erica Armstrong Dunbar has pulled off a feat of major proportions.  So much so that I just learned her book was short listed for a National Book Award.  All awards are suspect, but I’m glad this has happened because it shows courage and a belief that we can learn from history.  If only we find out about it!  Once you know the truth about your history, a few facts, thank you very much, then watching something like Hamilton, which I adored, can be critiqued when it wanders into the land of distorted myth: i.e. when Washington (played beautifully by a big black man with great legs) seems to be remotely concerned with the concept of freedom.  Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit Of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, is such strong, long needed medicine for the spirit, that it stopped me in my tracks.  I have been wanting to write something about it for months but the profound meaning of it simply took my breath away.

The Washingtons (and is Denzel really related to these people?  I think not) both madame and man pulled out every stop to recapture a poor black woman they owned, a slave, named Ona Judge, but let’s just go ahead and call her Mother, and she, with an indomitable will and brave and innately free heart, evaded them even as Our Commander in Chief, still coughing out instruction on how his slave catchers might find her, transpired to that other, one hopes, more just world.  Leaving Madame Martha Washington to carry on the hunt as only a certain kind of absolute fiend would do.

There is a scarily wonderful line up of two hundred years of previous white presidents and their wives on YouTube that is well worth studying.  Really look at these people.  Especially Martha and George.  See if you see a heart in there anywhere.  And now you know why…

Continue reading, A Trinity of Enlightenment Never Caught Lifes Work and Black Ink



Robert Allen, Rosario Ortega, Unrecalled Kind Person, Alice, Daniel Ortega

Managua, Nicaragua, mid- Eighties


Leaving Managua

©2017 by Alice Walker

You were never to know,

until now perhaps,

that I was weeping

as my compañero and I

left Managua

all those years ago.

We had witnessed the graceful dignity of your people

that they held inviolate

against the brutality inflicted on them

by our country.

How many wounded children

can the eyes hold?

How many stressed revolutionaries

can the heart bear?

So much weeping, Daniel.

And more, to know you would

be crushed.

That “they” would find a way

to do this.  No matter

what you did, or that

Fidel had pinned a star

for valor

on your chest.

Where are your nine sons, Daniel?

Where is my sister, Rosario,

who worked to nourish the people’s spirit

with enough heart

for twenty women?

I have to marvel

to think how news

comes to us now:

Having been thoroughly

humiliated and defeated

by the forces that

love to crush

you are once again

in “power.”

What does it mean, Daniel, or must I say:

Mr. President?

Well, if we are to believe

Bianca Jagger

(now marching with the farmers)

you have lost your way.

You want to build a canal

right through the people’s

drinking water.

You want to displace

farmers whose parents

believed their children would have food

and schools

because of the revolution.

Daniel, come back.  Come back to the people

who are working with the earth,

not killing it for something to do,

and for money they certainly do not need.

Support the farmers of your country

as they always in the past

supported you.

There is no future in a world

without Nature and the skill

to encourage it

to share

its gifts.

Wake up, Daniel, my brother.  No more Coca-Cola for you!


(When Robert Allen and I visited the Ortegas at their home I was struck by the fact that the refrigerator was literally crammed with cans of Coca-Cola.) Which even at the time- and it was very hot – seemed incongruous with revolution. Many of my family and community in the South lost their teeth to the excessive sugar in this drink. And of course, that in its rival, Pepsi.). One of my favorite stars, Joan Crawford, lent her name to Pepsi after marrying into the company.  Alas.

Still, Mildred Pierce, the film, one of Crawford’s best, may outlast our addiction to sugar. We can hope.

See: Blood On the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Wilson,  by Brian Wilson.

Brian lost his legs when the train he was trying to stop, to prevent it  carrying weapons to the Contra (Reagan’s “heroes”) who were fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, ran over him.   Robert Allen and Belvie Rooks and I had been arrested earlier, trying to stop the flow of weapons whose destination was the maiming and killing of people and Life.  Daniel Ortega claimed Brian as a brother. Surely you recall this, Daniel.  What would Brian think?

See also: Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano.

See article re: Bianca Jagger and opposition to the canal


Strike!  Dolores Huerta

A Virgin de Guadaloupe, with Children

©by Alice Walker 2017

DOLORES, the movie

Some recent movies have been overwhelmingly encouraging, like the “horror movie” Get Out.  A film so remarkable in its psychic resonance that few can say just what it is that makes us know it is, at root, not so much about horror, though there is that, but about liberation:  a liberation for which black psyches have long been crying.

The film DOLORES which opened last week at the Shattuck in Berkeley offers a similar medicine, though the “horror” here is ongoing in the vast fruit and vegetable fields in which mostly Chicano farm workers have lived lives as modern slaves.  Into this “horror,”decades ago, came Caesar Chavez and the incomparable Goddess of persistent rebellion, Dolores Huerta.

This small, brown, beautiful woman gave us the phrase “Si Se Puede!”  Yes, We Can!  And it is because of her that the lives of millions of workers were improved.  She led marches, strikes, sit-ins; endured endless slights because she is a woman; but never stopped moving forward in her determination to create a better, more decent and honorable life for her people.

I am in awe of Dolores Huerta, and I congratulate those, including the indomitable Peter Bratt, who made this film about her life.  In addition to everything else Dolores Huerta did, she gave birth to eleven children!  (One of the amusing things about the film is that you never see her pregnant. At least not visibly!).  A serious magic.

Don’t miss DOLORES. I like to think of her transitions: from heroine, to warrior, to Virgin de Guadaloupe, with children.  Who all, by the way, appear to love their mother, understand her at last, and seem perfectly – in soul and body – beautiful themselves.

Ve a ver la película Dolores ¡HUELGA! DOLORES HUERTA




Remember:  If you don’t pay attention to what is happening to others you will never understand what is happening to you. -AW

Lee el poema, Rompe Mi Corazon De Nuevo, en español

Emaciated Buddha on Alice Walker Garden Website

Break My Heart Again

©2017 by Alice Walker

September 2017

for Aung San Suu Kyi and the Rohingya People

We travelled far

To stand before your door

A door we could not see

Our taxi driver

And all of Myanmar

Too frightened

To whisper your name.

My companion* brought

His trumpet

And though he did not dare

Endanger our driver

By blowing it

We understood


Is everything.

Where are you now?

How exhausted

And alone

You must be.

Are you now lost

Inside yourself,

As the world sneers

Its disappointment

At your failures?

Where does the “sure heart’s release”

Of meditation

Lead now?

They have unlocked

The prison

That was your home

Only to lock you

In the other prison

They have long prepared

For you.

The prison of illusory power.

How many have been lost there!

Someone else

Those generals

Who locked you away

With whom you would be “friends”

Hold the key.

As so many of our people

are being slaughtered- and are not all

Of them “our people”?-

You are oddly silent, or,

When you speak, you appear

With uncharacteristic subterfuge

To beat around the bush.

What awful thing do they have on you?
  That you have lost the light?

It cannot be more awful

Than letting more children

and their grownups

Suffer and die.

Who would claim that the beheading

Of babies has anything to do

With either Buddha or Christ?

You were one of our hopes

For a better world.  What has become

Of your devotion to love and kindness?

Of  your clarity?  Or is it simply lost

In Overwhelm?

Are you trapped?

I could not begin to rule a country,

Particularly if I could not control

Its military. I would prefer to

Leave.  Not out of cowardice

But of acceptance.

Break my heart again,

Beloved one;

It is here to be broken,

Again and again.

I see that now more clearly

Than ever,

As I see us, so close in age,

Aging women, watching

The world we dreamed

Of creating turn to dust.

There is a feeling

Of the whole world

Sliding backward,

And much of the good

That one does

Is not noticed at all.  This neglect

Appears to be a human obliviousness

As we focus on the major wart.

Still, whatever the threat

From those in your country

Who obviously wield

More power

Than you will ever have

Remember what the Awakened One

Taught: Speak. Teach.

Help the world

Not return to pre-wakefulness:

A time of no rudder in the seas

Of disaster

And near complete


Of the Spirit.


* Trumpeter Kaleo Larson.

See: The Dhammapada: Concise and completely graspable teachings of the Buddha.


I Wouldn’t Tell You If I Didn’t Know

©2017 by Alice Walker, a Southerner

(Who wrote in a poem years ago:  “If the South Rises Again,

It Will Not Do So In My Presence.”)

Having despaired


Of my Native land

I now resolve

Not to despair.

We are on a journey


At last

And today

As everyday

These days

Whether I am attentive

Or not

You are showing me

How beautiful

Shorn of bullwhip

And antebellum


You can be.

My heart is in my mouth

Many times

As I watch you topple

The old miseries;

Maybe it is there all the time

These days of pain;

But I can live with it,

Perhaps cramped

Behind a molar;

A gift

Maturity can bring.

You are so young, so

Eager to know

So smart

And looking good too!

I have a remaining prejudice:  I believe

All struggle for what is best for all

Makes us gorgeous. And you are that,

Never doubt,

As you fight for your humanity,

A soul for white folk.

I want you to know

That facing Death

By crazed


Is not the worst of it

In this life.

Far from it.

What’s a thousand times worse

is  thinking death

is all there is for you,


on Earth;

this mysterious

both eternal

and apparently ephemeral

landing place.

 Seriously: A Red Record by Ida B. Wells, 1895; Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, 1901; The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois,1903; Black Reconstruction 1860-1880 by W.E.B. DuBois 1935; The Slave Ship: A human History  by Marcus Rediker 2007; The Half Has Never Been told Told by Edward E. Baptist 2014.


August 2017

For Heather Heyer and her mother.

With love, from Alice


From Charlottesville to Palestine

Look up!

To the Sun that shines for all of us

The God that worships back. -AW

Alice and Eclipse  8/21/17                                  Photo by Duana Fullwiley


Youngest girl in Israeli jail: My dream is to hold mama in my arms

Ramallah My earnest desire is to have my mother hold me in her arms,” said the youngest Palestinian detainee


Reprint of article from The Palestinian Information Center

Youngest girl in Israeli jail: My dream is to hold mama in my arms

Wednesday  16/August/2017

“I have not seen my mother for the third consecutive month. My earnest desire is to have my mother hold me in her arms,” said the youngest Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails.

14-year-old Malak Mohamed al-Ghalidh, from Ramallah, has not seen her mother for the third month after the Israeli prison authorities ruled that the minor girl be sentenced to a prison-visit ban.

Malak’s mother said none of her family members could visit her in the Israeli HaSharon lock-up.

“My daughter Malak was kidnapped on May 20, 2017, at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied Jerusalem, after the Israeli forces handcuffed her with plastic manacles,” her mother told al-Asra radio station.

“I only see my daughter during court hearings. Every time I notice that her face is as exhausted and pale as death,” added the mother. “Every time we get a permission to visit our daughter the Israeli prison authorities just cancel it on the very visit day.”

According to the mother, the Israeli prosecution has indicted Malak of attempting to stab an Israeli occupation soldier.

Malak had reportedly been subjected to provocative searches and an inhumane investigation procedure so as to force her to confess. The Israeli soldiers threatened to kill her in case she does not declare herself guilty.

The mother has appealed to all international human rights institutions to urge the Israeli occupation to release her daughter and all other girls and women held behind Israeli prison bars.

She voiced concerns over a health deterioration that might rock her daughter’s vulnerable body.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Malak is the youngest-serving Palestinian detainee in Israeli lock-ups.

Israeli occupation  |  Palestinian prisoner


@Copyright The Palestinian Information Center

Additional article:

Border Police assault a father and son from East Jerusalem, break the 58-year-old father’s arm and arrest him and his 15-year-old son

Please use google translator to read about massive suicide of Gaza youth

‘I will shoot you in front of your mother ‘– Israeli forces follow through on threat to Palestinian youth

Zionists criminal character,

21 years old Palestinian Ra’ed Essalhi who died of his wounds Today in Zionist occupation jails. Even Ra’ed he didnt resist Zionist soldiers while kidnapping him a month ago, yet they shot him many times in his body and left him bleeding for long time before taking him to jail’s hospital, 3 September 2017.



July 2017

A Role For Psychoanalysis In Healing the Trauma of Female Genital Mutilation?

Photo of Carl Jung post to AWG AliceWalkersGarden 2017

Carl Jung

As the subject of Female Genital Mutilation returns to the minds and hearts of many, with the news that it is being practiced in the United States, I wanted to offer a perspective that is not ordinarily discussed: that of the role psychoanalysis might play in the healing of women (and men who love them) wounded by the practice.


On this tape made at a Jungian Conference in San Francisco, Alice is introduced by the great, good humored Jungian analyst, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen (5:17 min)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Alice Walker: Jungian Conference in San Francisco (1hr 7min)

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Lecture audio source: Using the Compass of Analytical Psychology, Our Emerging Ways, The North American Conference on Jungian Analysts and Candidates, lecture, October 26-29, 2006




Alice Walker and then  partner Robert Allen at “Jung’s place” in Bollingen, Switzerland, 1990

June 2017

Photo by Laura Balandran


at the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco

June 28, 2017

Arundhati Roy, irrepressible and truly brilliant, read from her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Alice “interviewed” her for a lively full house of mostly, it seemed from the questions later, Indians.  Who knew there were so many in the Bay Area who had already read the book!

As intriguing and unusual as this new novel is, Roy’s second novel in twenty years, after the worldwide success of The God of Small Things, Alice was equally curious about another book Roy has just published


The Doctor and the Saint, which is discussed briefly below.

If you’ve ever wanted confirmation that you must never deliberately humiliate or harm anyone, read The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste:  The Debate Between B.R. Ambedkar and M. K. Gandhi, by Arundhati Roy.  In this book we learn almost more than we can bear about the miserable treatment in India of the “Dalits” or “those who are broken to pieces.”  We also learn, with pain, that Gandhi, as much as we may venerate and are grateful to him for all the social and spiritual illumination he has cast around the world, could never quite speak up decisively on the question of destroying the horrendous system in India that lives on to this day, causing intolerable pain and suffering to people whose only “fault” is the caste into which they are born.

What we learn also is that there was someone else, during Gandhi’s time, someone more sure that the caste system must be completely destroyed, a man, an “untouchable” who became a lawyer, who struggled hard for his people and for India, a man most of us never heard of: B.R. Ambedkar.  It is this man’s work on which Roy shines a light, reminding us perhaps that behind every “great” being we’ve heard about, there stands another whose work and service to humanity we may never know, until the Universe locates a messenger equal to the task of helping us see.

When Alice sent this piece to be translated, this was the gift of thought that was returned:

The important thing is to be sure of what one is and what one does for the benefit of life and humankind. Gratefulness will come from life itself. 

-Poet Manuel Verdecia



Alice with Manuel García Verdecia

Poem for the man who translates my poems: Cuban poet Manuel Verdecia/with Alice in Havana in the 90s.

I Cannot Thank You Enough

©2017 by Alice Walker

I cannot thank you enough

for holding on to me

all those years ago

in hopeful Cuba.  My niece was just there

in the land I’ve loved so long,

and she told me today

she had no idea I’d ever

traveled there.  Her information about

Cuba came only from

television.  And Auntie, it lied! she


Sometimes the weariness is great.

And yet, like Fidel, like Che, like Celia, we are still

standing.  Holding the dream of peace,

of brother and sisterhood.

You tell me the heat is so severe

this week that you and your wife

my sister,

must take turns, at night, fanning

the grandchild,

who otherwise cannot sleep;

the little Prince

we all adore.

Yes, the planet is on fire…

Continue readingI Cannot Thank You Enough

En español tambienNo Puedo Agradecerte Lo Suficiente



An Evening with Alice Walker

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 with Alice Walker

Brooklyn Museum(May 25, 2017)


May 2017 

Two new poems for the audience at the Brooklyn Museum, written after seeing you.



© 2017 by Alice Walker

How I have loved

Being the colors

Of wood.

In winter I am

The color

Of cedar

In autumn

Of oak.

Today in brutally hot


I am the color

Of the bronze and shining

Native tree

Continue reading the poem, IN THIS INCARNATION

Sigue leyendo el poemaEn Esta Encarnación



©2017 by Alice Walker

If you can stand the wait

One day it will become

Perfectly clear

What it is

That makes you happy.

It might be years

And usually is.

One morning my happiness

Discovered me.

I was on

A hillside

With my yam gathering basket

From Nigeria

Collecting twigs

And peelings from

The Eucalyptus trees

For making

The morning fire.

My wait was over –

At least for now –

As a feeling of deep peace

A tender calm

That managed also to be radiant –

Rolled over me.

Continue reading, IF YOU CAN STAND THE WAIT

Sigue leyendo el poemaSI PUEDES SOPORTAR LA ESPERA



Julian Assange spoke from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Friday, May 19, 2017


Acts of Truth

©2017 by Alice Walker

Inspired by mythologist, Michael Meade

For Julian Assange

Michael was telling us the other night

About some things that might save the world.

One of them surprised me, but the more I thought about it

The more it made sense.

The whole world can be saved and if not the whole world

Then the world of our relationships

Which is, you know, the world,

By committing simple acts of truth.

In the story Michael tells

A dying child cannot live

If his parents cannot find courage enough

To commit an act of truth.

So the father after much blather

Admits he is and has been a fraud

In practically everything he’s done;

The mother says she never loved

Him even in the fake throes

Of passionate love.

Even the monk who is called on

To help these liars

Admits he has no real

Idea of the right path

Or the honest way.  He only

Took holy vows because

A person taking holy vows

Is admired.

At each act of truth

Each utterance of what is true

The child revives

Little by little

Until he is whole enough

To finally skip away.

That child is our ailing world, our human


Continue reading the poem, Acts of Truth

 En español tambienActos De Verdad



                                                                                                                                            Photo by Tenzin Walker


March/April 2017

Bowing : Ta Prohm  Temple , Anghor Wat, Cambodia        Photo by Rebecca Walker


Temple Poem for Rebecca and Tenzin Walker

©2017 by Alice Walker

What a moment of humorous wonder

to realize the long road home

is long precisely because it is the road

that is home.

And so I bow

to you

Nature in all your forms

including this

small musing

and thankful one: for

endlessly reclaiming

and proclaiming


through whatever we thought

(our prideful delusion)




Photo by anonymous  


 February 2017


For A Magical Weekend of Storytelling, Community Healing, and Action For The Common Good

Movies Meaning Festival April 27-30 Announcement

We are delighted to announce that this April, you’re invited to join distinguished writer and activist Alice Walker at the third annual Movies & Meaning Festival for a long weekend of art, storytelling, and tooling up for social justice work and community healing. Participants will be inspired and challenged by artists, activists, and spiritual leaders who work at the intersection of creativity, peace, spirituality, and social change.

READ MORE ABOUT Movies and Meaning Festival April 27-30 2017

Listen to Michael Meade’s Podcast :  EPISODE 7: The Limits of Deceit

Source: Mosaicvoices


January 2017

Sobonfu Somé Alice Walker Garden

Sobonfu Somé

You left us on the day women all over the world

Are rising.

Well, you rose too, sweetest

Of sisters.

You rose and I can see you smiling

As you returned to the village

Of Dano.

The ancestors

Who, as they are wont to do,

Asked far too much of you,

Are there to receive you.

I hope they are!

For how were they to know

Into what poverty of spirit

What deeply injured soul space

They sent you?

You were sent to heal a people

Who do not even realize

They are unwell!

Oh, my sister, whom I loved

The instant I saw

Your sweet smile,

Far too much was asked

Of you.

And you, being Sobonfu,

The light of the village

That raised you,

Tried to do every single

Thing they said

You must.

We, here in this blighted land,

Could see this.

You saw it too, but it did not

Stop you.

You told us we needed to weep,

To cry, to moan, to roll on the ground

If we felt like it

But by all means

To express our agony

That we are so lost.

But where were we

When you were lost?

Lost in the loneliness and vastness

Of your task.

Forgive us

That we did not know

How to be better sisters

To you.  Better brothers,

Better sick Americans.

When you enter the village

You are safe again.  There will

Be sufficient tears, crying out,

Rolling on the ground, covering of heads

With ash.

That is my hope, anyway,

Blessed healer of our people

All our people,

Returning so soon

And in this abrupt way

You leave us

To demonstrate

All you taught us

About grief.

El poema, Sobonfu Somé, también se ofrece en español


Womens March Poster picked by Alice Walker


Copyright 2017 by Alice Walker

January 21, 2017

(For the awakening.)

I do not doubt that you are there

and that I am also, in some future

past time;

and that together

we are enjoying it all.

And so I thank you,

Great Awareness

in which I also live,

for Calla Lillies

and Birds

and Hollyhocks

and Bougainvillea

and the aroma

of a good posole

and the fit of a new dress.

There are then the stars

that I love

and the rivers

I adore

and the single leaves

of trees in which I can

lose my temporary

this moment self in.

The sheer wonder

of it all.

And women marching


And being the most

wondrous of the human lot

with their capacity

to recreate the human universe.

Oh, Great and Everlasting Awareness

I have been with you

while looking for you

all my long life!

And here you turn up


as you do everyday

as myself,

all the awakened women,


and men,

in the world,

and Everything else.


Oracion Por La Gran Conciencia


December  2016


I love the truth of this woman.  She has always been standing where she stands now.

Even though times are hard, how lucky we are to see this

and to know what we are seeing. -AW


Read and Sign the Call to Action to STOP Trump and Pence

BEFORE they Come to Power.

Join Cornel West, Niles Eldridge, Fran Luck, Carl Dix and others in signing the Mission Statement of Refuse Fascism. Add Your Name, Print This Call, and Spread it Everywhere. Or ADD YOUR NAME Go to:


In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America!

Read the full posting for  Refuse to Accept a Fascist America y tambien, En Español 


Lee y Firma El Llamado a la acción para detener a Trump y Pence

antes de que asuman el poder.

Únete a Carl West, Niles Eldridge, Fran Luck, Carl Dix y otros más en la firma de esta Declaración de Rechazo al Fascismo. Añade tu nombre, imprime este llamado y distribúyelo por todas partes.

*** #refusefascism #nofascistUSA ***

En nobre de la humanidad nos negamos a aceptar unos Estados Unidos fascistas.

Donald Trump, el presidente electo, está estructurando un régimen de grave peligro. Millones de personas en los EE.UU. y en todo el mundo se sienten llenos de profunda ansiedad, temor y disgusto. Nuestra angustia es acertada y justa. Nuestra cólera debe convertirse ahora en resistencia masiva antes de que Donald Trump se instaure como presidente y tenga las riendas del poder en sus manos.

Si los millones que somos fallamos en alzarnos con determinación y coraje para detener esto, las consecuencias para la humanidad serán desastrosas. Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, percibimos desde lo más profundo de nuestros seres, la catástrofe que acaecerá a los pueblos del mundo si Trump/Pence asumen el poder…

Para leer más, Lee y Firma El Llamado a la acción para detener a Trump y Pence antes de que asuman el poder



Clouds in Northern California taken by Alice Walker called Like a Dragon 2016

Photo by Alice Walker 

A Good Day To Die

Copyright © 2016 by Alice Walker

the inner Standing Rock

There comes a time in life

when we realize it is okay to die.

Right now, like this, in this moment.

It is not suicidal this thought

but comes rather from a sense

of  completion.

It may come upon us

many times,

this sense of readiness,

if  we allow waves of awe to catch us

where we deeply live and remain fully there

to receive them.

I was sitting in the hot tub

this morning

tending my sciatica

while pondering this.

It wasn’t the pain,

it was the sky.

Where I live and dream

in the slumbering hills

of  Northern California

there is something

a great brilliant fog in the morning

that collects itself into a thousand shapes

before it rolls and curls leisurely

over the tops of redwood trees

toward the not so distant,

not quite audible ocean

on the coast.

It is ” The Dragon”

of our neighborhood

and this morning

it was spectacular.

Dripping wet

clutching my towel

and my camera

I could not stop

taking pictures of it.

Or exclaiming aloud

in astonishment.

An hour later it is still there.

Unfurling its luminous tail,

meandering on,

scattering its

shimmering scales

of foggy soul

across a low and wet

dark blue and pewter sky.

And I am left breathless

in the bliss of being a Cosmic


My destiny to be


and Always to be.

Like water in the fog:

unbounded forever

and forever

never free.


El poema, UN BUEN DÍA PARA MORIR, en Español


November 25, bless Fidel, 2016 Fidel Castro and Alice Walker Together (copyright 2016)

Photo by Gloria LaRiva 

Dear amazing brother, you made it all the way home!

May this be the joy that always greets you.


Querido asombroso hermano, has hecho todo el trayecto a casa,

Que sea el júbilo el que siempre te acompañe.


Fidel Castro:  Compassionate Revolutionary

Alice Walker with Fidel Castro Cuba 90s Compassionate Revolutionary 2016

Photo also contains: Ramsey Clarke, a former United States attorney general (!) with those fabulous Texas ears: about whom an amazing film is near completion, and Dennis Banks, a leader of AIM (the American Indian Movement) holding Alice’s hand. Thank goodness. Others include several ophthalmologists: a mysterious affliction of blindness was affecting a large number of mostly young people on the Island.

Originally posted on in August 2016

Fidel Castro:  Compassionate Revolutionary

Copyright© 2016 by Alice Walker

(For a book to be presented to Fidel this week honoring his birth.)

Fidel Castro is the most extraordinary person I have encountered, whether in real life, history, or fiction.  It is a gift to have been born in his time and to witness his nerve, intelligence, audacity, and wit.  He is a revolutionary in feeling as well as in thought.

There is a thrilling backstory to how I came to “meet” Fidel, but I will not go into it here:  but there I was, years ago, when I was eighteen, traveling in a quaint wood paneled train deep inside the Crimea, while reading his absorbing book HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME on how and why he became a revolutionary.  It is a compelling record of his endeavor to free his people from a crushing dictatorship, written shortly before he was captured and put on trial for doing so.

Continue reading the postFidel Castro:  Compassionate Revolutionary


November 22, bless Kennedy, 2016

Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, sung by the Staple Singers









November 9, 2016

Sunrise image for alicewalkersgarden Dont Despair Post Nov 9 2016

Don’t Despair

Copyright © 2016 by Alice Walker

When I was a child growing up in middle Georgia, I thought all white men were like Donald Trump.  They too seemed petulant and spoiled, unhappy with everything they were not the center of, brutal toward the feelings of those “beneath” them, and comfortable causing others to act out of hate.  How did we survive this?

I think of my father, a poor sharecropper with many children, so desperate for change in a system that left his family in danger of starving that he walked to the polling place – a tiny, white owned store in the middle of nowhere – to cast the first vote by a black person in the county.  Three white men holding shotguns sat watching him, for niggers were not supposed to vote and they were there to enforce this common law.  My father voted for Roosevelt and a  “New Deal” he hoped would also apply to black people.

I come from a line of folks who chose to live or die on their feet.  My 4-Greats grandmother was forced to walk chained from a slave ship in Virginia, and carried two small children that probably weren’t hers all the way to Middle Georgia.  There she was forced to work for strange, pale people who could only have appeared to be demons to her.  She was given as a wedding gift to a young married couple when she was advanced in age; what the story of this event was is a mystery to this day. All we know is that she lived to bury all these people and that it is her who is remembered.

My aunts and uncles learned trades – tailoring, bricklaying, masonry, house-building – whatever was allowed for black people, and raised their children in homes of stability and even comfort, while the white world beyond their neighborhoods attempted to squeeze them into corners so tiny that to the majority of “citizens” of the cities they lived in, they did not even exist.

How to survive dictatorship.  That is what much of the rest of the world has had to learn.  Our country has imposed this condition on so many places and peoples around the globe it is naive to imagine we would avoid it.  Besides, do Native Americans and African American descendents of enslaved people not realize they have never lived in anything but a dictatorship?

In this election we did not really have a healthy choice, as is said in a commercial for something I vaguely remember.  Or, as a friend puts it: “‘the “choice” was between disaster and catastrophe.”‘ If this puzzles you, here is the next step of my counsel: Study.  Really attempt to understand the people you are voting for.  What are they doing when they’re not smiling at you in anticipation of your vote? Study hard,  deeply, before the Internet is closed, before books are disappeared.  Know your history and the ways it has been kept secret from you.  Understand how politicians you vote for understand your history better than you do; which helps them manipulate your generations. It is our ignorance that keeps us hoping somebody we elect will do all the work while we drive off to the mall.  Forget this behavior as if it were a dream.  It was.  In some way, many of us will find, perhaps to our astonishment, that we have not really lived until this moment.

Our surprise, our shock, our anger, all of it points to how fast asleep we were.

This is not a lament.  It is counsel.  It is saying:  We can awaken completely.  The best sign of which will be how we treat every being who crosses our path. For real change is personal.  The change within ourselves expressed in our willingness to hear, and have patience with, the “other.” Together we move forward.  Anger, the pointing of fingers, the wishing that everyone had done exactly as you did, none of that will help relieve our pain.  We are here now.  In this scary, and to some quite new and never imagined place. What do we do with our fear?

Do we turn on others, or toward others?  Do we share our awakening, or only our despair?

The choice is ours.

NO DESESPERES en español



November 8 2016

Candles Alicewalkersgarden Election 2016

I am spending election day burning a candle for four extraordinary people:  Mumia Abu Jamal, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden.  I was thinking about all of them this morning in meditation.  So I labeled it “thinking,” as we are taught, and went back to Om Nama Shivaya.  But they all came right back to mind when meditation was over.

What is it about this gang of four, other than they’re all locked up? (Exile is also a lock up.)  I was thinking about this a lot, tossing out words that almost fit.  The one word that does hold up is -they are decent human beings.  If there is a right thing to be done in a situation,  they are committed to doing it.  This is extraordinary, really, when one thinks about it.  And yet, didn’t decent behavior used to be common?

In any case, I turned to You Tube to watch videos of Julian Assange, especially the  one he did recently with John Pilger, the Australian journalist, who is incredibly decent his own self.

They are discussing how, even though all charges against Assange have been dropped; including that by the “raped” woman who confessed the police made her do it (lie about Assange; that he raped her), he must remain in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London or risk arrest and detention if he steps outside the door. He’s been there four years, living in two rooms, with no sun at all.

I have stepped inside that door to visit him, a few years ago.  As I have stepped into two prisons to see Mumia and would gladly step over to Russia to bring Snowden some home cooked collard greens, and Chelsea Manning a really loving, sisterly hug.  How can we bear that these amazing people are in exile and prison?  That Chelsea recently tried to take her own life?  Chelsea, one of the best people on the planet.  While we are surrounded by people who are not at all in her league; and voting for some of them to rule over us this very day.

I think from my visit with Assange that he is an honest person.  An example of this is that even though we had  limited time to talk, and a horrible hit piece had just been done on him, one that, on reading, had rattled me quite a bit, he went to great pains to explain to me that “math” and “arithmetic” are different.  That my father, whom I always lament was a “mathematician” who ended up plowing vast cotton fields, was not really good at “math” but at “arithmetic.”  It was annoying.

But he was right.  So there’s that.  A stubborn insistence on the exact reality.

And that is what I am thinking about this election day.  How to retain a stubborn insistence on the exact reality.  US America’s political system is not working for the planetary common good.  At all. In fact, it works against peace as if it is a disease. It makes enemies daily that we can never outlive.  No amount of dreaming and pretending will make  our country’s unpardonable behavior disappear.  Only paying attention to the truth tellers, the whistle-blowers, honoring men and women like Ann Wright and Daniel Ellsberg and Jill Stein might at least permit us to breathe.  To meditate on other possibilities. And to pay attention  to our own sense of what is decent and what is right.  And above all, listening to Indigenous lovers of this land, those at Standing Rock, and especially the spectacularly decent teachers of humankind: the Hopi.

Elecciones 2016 en Español


October 2016



Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil

Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker

A film by Donna C. Roberts and Donna Read

A documentary film about the Candomblé religion in Bahia, Brazil, a vibrant African-derived culture which evolved from the days of enslaved Africans. Elder women leaders tell stories of Candomblé’s history, social challenges and triumphs, grounded in strong community, and Earth-based wisdom and practice.

I have just returned from the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, a place of three rivers!  And a fourth that is underground. This means a wonderful energy that has produced many artists, many musicians, whose names appear on some of the apartment buildings and houses. Friends and I were there celebrating the screening of the film Yemanjá, Wisdom From the African Heart of Brazil. My own heart was completely there; it was also with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock. Both cultures revere and protect water.  In fact, as can be seen in the film, Yemanjá is the Goddess or Orixá of water, particularly that of oceans. There is also a Goddess of fresh water.  In any case, all water is understood to be completely sacred.

I believe it is on this issue, the sacredness of water, that all indigenous and true Earth identified people connect.  I send this video out then to all who are risking their lives and livelihoods to protect water, wherever it exists, whether in the earth, the sky, or our bodies.


Yemayá:  Sabiduría desde el corazón africano de Brasil

Narrado por la autora, Premio-Pulitzer, Alice Walker

Una película de Donna C. Roberts y Donna Read

Es una película documental sobre la religión Candomble en Bahía, Brasil, un vibrante elemento cultural derivado de la cultura Africana que se desarrolló a partir de los días de los esclavos africanos. Viejas líderes cuentan anécdotas de la historia, los desafíos sociales y los triunfos del Candomble, basadas en una fuerte sabiduría y una práctica enraizadas en la comunidad y la Tierra.

¡Acabo de volver de la hermosa ciudad de Pittsburgh, un lugar de tres ríos! Y un cuarto que es subterráneo. Esto implica una energía maravillosa que ha dado muchos artistas, muchos músicos, cuyos nombres aparecen en algunos de los apartamentos y casas. Mis amigos y yo estábamos allí celebrando la proyección del filme Yemayá, sabiduría desde el corazón africano de Brasil. Mi propio corazón estaba totalmente allá; estaba también con los defensores del agua en Standing Rock. Ambas culturas reverencian y protegen el agua. De hecho, como puede verse en la película, Yemayá es la diosa u oricha del agua, en especial la de los océanos. Hay también una diosa del agua dulce. En cualquier caso, toda el agua se entiende que es totalmente sagrada.

Creo que es en este aspecto, el carácter sagrado del agua, en el que todos los pueblos indígenas y verdaderamente identificados con la Tierra se relacionan. Envío este vídeo a todos los que estén arriesgando sus vidas y sustentos por proteger el agua, dondequiera que exista, bien sea en la tierra, el cielo, o en nuestros cuerpos.


Buffalo just came out to support the people at Standing Rock

Standing Rock Sioux Buffalo Medicine 10-27-2016 alicewalkersgarden

Buffalo acaba de salir para apoyar a la gente en Standing Rock

Source photo of Buffalo at Standing Rock


Video source: Vimeo




After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

en español

Tras el debate del miércoles, ¡Democracia ahora! habló con la Dra. Jill Stein, la candidata por el Partido Verde. Ella y el candidato libertario Gary Johnson fueron excluidos del debate bajo normas estrictas establecidas por la Comisión para los Debates Presidenciales, la cual está controlada por los partidos Demócrata y Republicano.

Fuente de video.

Video Source.

David Icke and Alice Walker in his bus!                                              Photo by Laura Balandran

September  video posted here has vanished.  But there are other videos by David Icke at YouTube. 

The videos about the demonization of Russia, the background to the wars in Middle Eastern countries, the information about vaccinations, all are of vital importance to our thinking.  Agreement isn’t the issue as much as awareness.


I spent all day last Saturday from ten o’clock in the morning to after ten o’clock at night (with a break for lunch, stretches, walks and a nap in my car) listening to a presentation by David Icke who is traveling the planet with his Phantom Self, World Wake Up Tour. He was extraordinary, as usual, and held the packed audience’s attention as he carried us through teachings welcome to some and no doubt too frightening to be welcome to others. Like Assange and Manning and Snowden and others that have appeared to shed light on these dark times, Icke is considered a prophet or a madman, depending on how open one can be to what he has devoted his life to share; i.e. his vast research and understanding of how humanity has wound up on the verge of murdering itself. I find him refreshing, myself, especially during this period of election coverage that seems from another reality entirely than the one real people live in, and is.

For friends who couldn’t attend the talk or who balked at the thought of sitting anywhere, listening to anyone, for ten hours, I decided to find, among Icke’s numerous videos, one lecture that might offer an introduction that wouldn’t be too scary for folks leery of being nudged in a direction of inquiry that might upset, destroy possibly, their world view. I think this one might fit the bill.

I notice that Icke’s own visual presentations are sometimes supplanted by weird scenes that have nothing to do with what he’s talking about. A kind of creeping censorship, no doubt. Which means, really, don’t wait to learn from a great teacher, even as you reserve your right to disagree with him, or it might soon be too late.

-Alice Walker

 Winnie Mandela

Winne Mandela posted by Alice Walker on

Happy Birthday, Beloved!  26th September.  //  ¡Feliz cumpleaños, querida!  26 de septiembre

This poem was published in the Eighties, while Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned.  Winnie Mandela was raising their children alone while also being recognized by black people as “the mother of the Nation.”  Life would take a terrible turn in her personal journey, which is well worth studying, for the light it sheds on how and why people sometimes change course, or break.  But having endured her personal Calvary Winnie Mandela rose again to lead, teach, and protect her people.

When her daughters – who I sometimes felt were also my daughters while they were growing up without their father, and, because of her many arrests and bannings, frequently  without their mother –  asked if i would read this poem for their mother at her 80th birthday celebration in Johannesburg I was happy to do so. (This was accomplished via video shot by filmmaker Pratibha Parmar).  Ironically Nelson Mandela was released from prison on Parmar’s birthday, Feb. 11, 1990.

Winnie Mandela’s life is precious to all people who understand what a trial it is simply to exist, standing your ground against forces that despise and abuse you, over decades and centuries.  Whoever is perfect in their response to the murder of a people’s soul, may judge whatever is impossible to understand.

The name “Lucy,” which appears in the following poem, was given by paleoanthropologists to the fossilized skeleton of the most ancient, recognizably human ancestral figure ever found.  A female being who lived on the African continent some three million years ago.



by Alice Walker

Winnie Mandela

We love you.

If we had known you

In a time of peace

We would have loved

Your peacefulness

Your quiet so deep

It did not hear

The call

To fight.

We missed our chance.

Winnie Mandela

We love you.

In a time of war

We love your ferocity.

We love your vigilance.

We love your impatience

With killers

And charlatans.

We love your hatred

Of the deaths of our people.

We love your hatred

Of despair.

Winnie Mandela

We love you.

We love your beauty.

We love your style.

We love your hats,


And various lengths

Of hair.

We love the passion

In your body.

The fury in your eyes.

When you smile

We are amazed.

We love your loyalty

To Nelson

The  beautiful.

Your attention to

The children

And the voluptuousness

Of the countryside

Which will be ours


We love your memory

Of details.

We love that you do not intend

To forget.

Winnie Mandela, “Lucy,”

We love you

For helping us recognize

The eternity you’ve been with us before.

Winnie Mandela, Sister,

We love you.

Yours is the contemporary face

Of the mother

Of the human race.


Leer este poema en español

From Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete, Harcourt Brace publishers;  by Alice Walker



August 2016 

An inspiring example of the passion of caring. -AW

Video Source:  The Sane Progressive


Never Give Up Alice Walker Garden

Never Give Up:  Even when the way of Peace is sabotaged or difficult to read….

I thank Thich Nhat Hahn Alice Walker Alice Walkers Garden

Breathing in

I thank Thich Nhat Hahn 

Breathing Out

I thank him more.



Why vote for evil (lesser is still evil) when you can vote for good?

Most of us have never won an election anyway.  The self-deception is believing you have. And we’ve certainly never “won” democracy.

Bernie sure did look good, though.


Cornel West: Why I Endorse Green Party’s Jill Stein Over “Neoliberal Disaster” Hillary Clinton

This article is also translated into Spanish/Español

JULY 18, 2016


AMY GOODMAN: You are endorsing Dr. Jill Stein. You were a surrogate for Bernie Sanders. You spoke all over the country for him.

CORNEL WEST: Yes, yes, yes.

AMY GOODMAN: What made you decide to support the Green Party presidential candidate as opposed to Hillary Clinton?

CORNEL WEST: Well, I’ve never been tied to one party or one candidate or even one institution. And that’s true even with one church as a Christian. I’m committed to truth and justice. And Brother Bernie, no doubt, was the standard-bearer for truth and justice during the primary at a national level, at a highly visible level. Once he endorsed Hillary Clinton, who, for me, is a neoliberal disaster, it was clear—

AMY GOODMAN: What do mean by that?

CORNEL WEST: A neoliberal disaster is one who generates a mass incarceration regime, who deregulates banks and markets, who promotes chaos of regime change in Libya, supports military coups in Honduras, undermines some of the magnificent efforts in Haiti of working people, and so forth. That’s the record of Hillary Clinton. So there was no way—when my dear brother, who I love very deeply, Bernie Sanders said she will make an outstanding president, I said, “Oh, I disagree with my brother. I think she’ll—I don’t think she’ll make an outstanding president at all.” She’s a militarist. She’s a hawk. She could take us into war with Russia. She could take us into war with Iran. So, I mean, I think she’s—she’s dangerous in terms of her neoliberal ideology—not as a woman, because I’m supporting, of course, my dear sister Jill Stein.

I think after a magnificent campaign of Bernie Sanders, the next step is a green step. The next step is a progressive step. And when you’re calling for reparations, you’re calling for the release of prisoners who have been historically unfairly treated, especially tied to nonviolent crimes, and then saying they should vote and that vote should never be taken away, when you’re calling—putting people and planet and peace before profits, Sister Jill Stein, for me, is somebody that’s worth fighting for. And she’s not a spoiler. You know, a lot of people use that term “spoiler.” If Hillary Clinton can’t make the case to progressives, she doesn’t deserve our vote.

Now, Trump is a neofascist in the making. There’s no doubt about that.

AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump.

CORNEL WEST: Yeah. Oh, there’s no doubt about that. But the thing is, is that you can’t just be a non-Trump and deserve one’s vote. If Hillary Clinton wants the vote of progressives, she better be real about it. But I don’t think she has the capacity to be real about it. She’s so tied to Wall Street. She’s so tied to the corporate elite.

AMY GOODMAN: Why do you say he’s a neofascist, Donald Trump, the—

CORNEL WEST: Because neofascism in the United States takes the form of big money, big banks, big corporations, tied to xenophobic scapegoating of the vulnerable, like Mexicans and Muslims and women and black folk, and militaristic policies abroad, with strongman, charismatic, autocratic personality, and that’s what Donald Trump is…

Please Continue ReadingCornel West: Why I Endorse Green Party’s Jill Stein Over “Neoliberal Disaster” Hillary Clinton

Continúe leyendoCornel West En “DEMOCRACIA AHORA” Explica Por Que Apoya A Jill Stein Del Partido Verde En Vez Del “Desastre Neoliberal” Hillary Clinton


This is the news of which tears and smiles are made.  As Celie Johnson might say:  I loves folks. -AW

Did You See Our Palestine Signs at the DNC? Rabbi Shmuley Did.

by Tamar Ghabin, Government Affairs Associate, and Josh Ruebner, Policy Director

July 29th, 2016

WATCH: Visible Support for Palestinian Rights at DNC

DNC delegates raise the Palestinian flag on the convention floor.

“All the…pro-Palestinian yellow stickers at #DNCinPhilly are truly dispiriting,” lamented prominent right-wing Israel supporter Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Twitter.

Yep, we worked with delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to distribute thousands of our “Progressive for Palestine” and “I Support Palestinian Human Rights” t-shirts, signs, stickers and buttons to more than 30 state delegations!

This presence was, Al Jazeera reported, a “show of force” in support of Palestinian human rights “unprecedented at other political conventions.”

Watch and share our 90-second video showing a few of the many hundreds of delegates who proudly demonstrated their support for Palestinian rights on the floor of the DNCWatch our videos from the DNC.

In fact, DNC delegates were so receptive that we actually had trouble keeping up with the demand for materials!

After seeing these signs and stickers on TV and social media, many people have been asking us: how can we get this #ProgressiveforPalestine swag?

It’s easy. Just click here to make a donation to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and we’ll be glad to send some to you too.

Creating this visible presence at the DNC in support of Palestinian rights, which built on our similar work in Cleveland at the RNC, was just one of the things we did this week in Philadelphia.

On Monday, we organized a path-breaking panel for delegates, cosponsored by member group American Friends Service Committee, entitled “Progressive for Palestine: Is the US Ready to Rethink Policy on Israel?”

The standing-room-only crowd heard a special video message from Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who assured us that thanks to the tireless work of Palestine solidarity activists, the conversation on Capitol Hill is changing for the better.

And Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) spoke passionately to the crowd about his work in Congress to hold Israel accountable for violations of US weapons laws and to advocate for the human rights of Palestinian children.

We were also privileged to hear from Dr. Jim Zogby, a member of the DNC’s platform committee who pushed hard for Palestinian human rights amendments, and Linda Sarsour, the most prominent Palestinian-American surrogate for a presidential candidate.

Watch and share this inspiring event here.

In Philadelphia, we also helped organize a Palestine solidarity march with member group Philly BDS, educated delegates about the issue with member group American Muslims for Palestine, supported protests by member group Code Pink, and helped turn out crowds for panel discussions held by member group Jewish Voice for Peace and our friends at the Arab American Institute.

For example, check out our Executive Director Yousef Munayyer at this JVP-sponsored panel on Boycotting for Justice: Building Progressive Grassroots Power.

Huffington Post noted that if all of the Palestine solidarity activism on full display at the DNC “proceeds on its current trajectory, it could threaten the virtually unconditional support for Israeli government policies that has been a core tenet of both major parties for decades.”

That’s exactly right. In fact during the DNC, new polling confirmed recent trends and showed support for holding Israel accountable for settlements is supported by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders backers alike with even some support among Republicans!

Help us continue along this trajectory by making your donation today to support our ongoing work and get your #ProgressiveforPalestine swag.

Of course, creating this visible presence for Palestinian rights at the DNC cost money. Help us raise $10,000 today to recoup those costs and help launch the next phase of our work to continue to make Palestinian rights a central part of this electoral season.

Sincerely, Josh Ruebner, Policy Director

Tamar Ghabin, Government Affairs Associate

- See more at:


Meridian’s granddaughter.  Hello, Beloved.  Thank you, Leisha Evans.

Is there another way to think about this?  Let us find it, quickly, together. If we don’t find it, we risk losing the friends we’ve made, the friends we love, after over half a century of work. We risk losing all the children’s trust in our ability to find a way we all can live.

There used to be a wonderful phrase:  Don’t believe the hype.  The hype is still here; and people still believe it.  That is why we love writers who get the real word out.  Like this writer who tells us something I’m sure most of us didn’t know. -AW

Thanks Belvie Rooks  (and brother D).

This Black Lives Matter Photo Should Be Seen Around The World – Link

Thanks William Lee, all the way from China!



June  2016



7/26 Oakland Forum-Palestinian Workers, Human Rights, Labor and Zionism

July 26 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Uptown Body and Fender – 401 26th St., Oakland


Palestinian workers are under attack and they and their families face apartheid conditions. At the same time, legal efforts are being made to prevent an international boycott of Israel and labor action. Bay Area ILWU longshore workers played an important role in supporting Palestinian workers by boycotting the Israeli controlled Zim shipping line. This forum will look at the history of Zionism including the collaboration with the Nazis, and the present attack on UK Labor Party members critical of Israel who are being attacked as anti-Semites.


We will also look at the struggle of UAW 2865 to support the international boycott, and how their national leadership nullified their efforts.


Video from ILWU Zim Action On Port of Oakland will be screened.




Fadi Saba, President Luther Burbank Education Association CTA*

Jeff Blankfort, Editor Of Labor Bulletin On The Middle East and Radio Host of KZYX&Z Takes on The World

Lenni Brenner, Historian and author of Zionism In The Age Of Dictators

Jack Heyman, ILWU Local 10 retired and Chair Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

* for identification only



Sponsored by United Public Workers For Action. <>




Who or what are the beings that can tolerate slave ships, whether on sea or land, and cause humans to endure being “packed like sardines” on their way to forced labor.  Meditating on this question is scary but must be done. -AW



Jesse Williams’  BET Awards Speech

Here is part of the problem right up front:  we have to endure a MacDonald’s commercial before Jesse Williams’ speech.  Surely there is a better way to honor our people than by encouraging belief that such a corporation cares about what they eat, unless it makes money for the corporation. In any case, it interrupted a poem I wanted to write about fear of blackness in white culture.

Here It Is

2016 by Alice Walker

Here it is

the beauty that scares you

-so you believe-

to death.

For he is certainly gorgeous

and he is certainly where whiteness

to your disbelief

has not wandered off

to die.

No.  It is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,

a Malcolm-esque  jaw.  His loyal parents

may Goddess bless them

sitting proud and happy and no doubt


at what  they have done.

For he is black too.  And obviously

with a soul

made of everything.

Try to think bigger than you ever have

or had courage enough to do:

that blackness is not where whiteness

wanders off to die: but that it is

like the dark matter

between stars and galaxies in

the Universe

that ultimately

holds it all




Three deep bows to a beautiful son.

Aquí es el poema en español


View Video, BET Humanitarian Awards Speech by Jesse Williams



A thoughtful piece on our dilemma.

I remember Martin Luther King saying we might one day have the vote (people of color) and have no one to vote for. Or, we might gain entrance to “white only” restaurants and have no money to buy the food. And so on. What a prophet! I think it would help to remember not everyone in the country thinks America (North America, the US) is or ever was “great.” Looking at its truly soulless behavior against everyone except, for the most part, wealthy white people, overwhelmingly male, what would that mean? I would have liked to have experienced  a “fair” nation, a “just” nation, even a “compassionate” nation, though that word probably frightens a lot of Americans.

In any case, we have reached where we were heading. Rule by the rich and insatiable. Hungry ghosts. Whatever happens with Bernie Sanders’ candidacy he makes us see an alternative.  A beautiful gift.  If he is sucked into supporting the prevailing charade we will mourn its loss, but hopefully we will continue to seek the light. -AW

Read, The chaos of a Hillary Clinton Presidency: Corporate dominion and a building rebellion

and En Español



An optimistic local out for a stroll

Loving Oakland

Copyright © 2016 by Alice Walker

If gentrifiers do not despoil it

which means getting rid of poor

and black and people of color


Oakland can be what it has been

for a long time:  an urban Paradise.

It is a place where

the young blonde woman

crossing the street in front of your car

would look like a threat

to the neighborhood

except she’s frowning

over some deep issue in her inner life

and wearing outrageous vivid blue shoes.

It is a place where

as you sit on the grass by the lake

a tall black man of a certain age

strolls by

blowing his saxophone.

You smile and bow,…

Continue reading the full poem, Loving Oakland


The Long Road Home

©2016 by Alice Walker

I am beginning to comprehend

the mystery

of the gift of suffering.

It is true as some

have said

that it is a crucible

in which the gold of one’s spirit

is rendered

and shines.



you represent all of us

who stand the test of suffering

most often alone

because who can understand

who or what

has brought us to our feet?


Their knees worn out

ancestors stood us up

from the awkward position

they had to honor

on the floor beneath

the floor.


I have been weeping

all day

Thinking of this.

The cloud of witness

the endless teaching

the long road home.



Para Muhammad Ali  se ofrece en español




Feb 20, 2011 – Uploaded by kaotikkalm

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the …

One of the few athletes who loved us more than we loved him. -Mungu Sanchez.  Thank you, son.


May 2016 

I have recently been sharing thoughts about books that are to me “great” in the sense of having the power to engage the reader in new ways of imagining, of loving, acting, and growing.

There are books that are great in an even more extraordinary way: they can sometimes single-handedly shift consciousness so much that a crime like enslavement of people, sometimes singly, often whole families, can at last be seen and emotionally felt for what it is.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe did this.  Slave narratives like Frederick Douglass’s did this. I’ve just finished reading two harrowing books out of India that could have similar impact:  RIVER OF FLESH and Other Stories: The Prostituted Woman in Indian Short Fiction, edited by Ruchira Gupta, and TOWN OF LOVE by Norwegian writer Anne Osby.

Continue reading about RIVER OF FLESH and TOWN OF LOVE o Leer El Artículo en Español


See reminder below:

The Celia Project

A Research Collaboration on the History of Slavery and Sexual Violence


In 1855 Missouri, an enslaved woman named Celia was tried, convicted, and ultimately executed for killing her owner. Celia confessed: She had tried to put a stop to what had been five years of sexual abuse. At the center of the trial was a dramatic confrontation over the legal standing of enslaved women. Did an enslaved woman have the right to defend herself against sexual assault? Drawing on Celia’s own words, her court-appointed defense team said “yes.”

Prosecutors, the trial judge, jurors, and the state high court all rejected Celia’s claim. Enslaved women did not have the same right to self-defense accorded to free women under Missouri law, they concluded. To allow such resistance would have been to strike at the heart of slaveholders’ power.

Continue Reading, The Celia Project and also the post is translated into Español   (Thank you: Beverly Guy-Sheftall)




Meanwhile, over at the Marsh in Berkeley, the small, slender, powerful, stunning and adorable Echo Brown performs BLACK VIRGINS ARE NOT FOR HIPSTERS.  Word of mouth fills the theatre, and the show has been extended.  Google for details – I’m headed for a silent retreat.  What I can say is that not since early Whoopi Goldberg and early and late Anna Deavere Smith have I been so moved by a performer’s narrative.  This one woman show proves once again that there is apparently a black woman gene that refuses to let her stay down, give up, or admit defeat, in any area in which she passionately lives her life. Truth seems to be Goddess of this realm. The beauty of this small being, standing alone on an empty stage, fills my heart with gratitude for the long and grueling inner journey that has brought us so far.


Mientras tanto, en el Marsh de Berkeley, la pequeña, esbelta, poderosa, admirable y encantadora Echo Brown representa

Las vírgenes negras no son para los hipsters*.

El rumor ha hecho que se llene el teatro y el espectáculo se ha extendido. Vayan a Google para detalles –voy camino a un retiro de silencio. Lo que puedo decir es que desde la temprana Whoopi Goldberg y la temprana y posterior Anna Deavere Smith no me he sentido tan conmovida con la narración de un actor. Este espectáculo unipersonal de una mujer demuestra una vez más que, al parecer, hay un gen en la mujer negra que rechaza quedarse echada, rendirse o admitir la derrota, en cualquier asunto en el que apasionadamente realice su vida. La verdad parece ser la Diosa de este reino. La belleza de este pequeño ser, que permanece sola en un escenario vacío, colma mi corazón de gratitud por el largo y angustioso camino que nos ha traído tan lejos.


* Hipster se denomina a las personas que cultivan el arte no masivo ni predominante sino el alternativo, especializado, selecto.



Papa Hemingway In Cuba

New film!

If I were still teaching writing I would gather my entire class in my arms and take them to see PAPA HEMINGWAY IN CUBA.  Writing is such a lonely, sometimes terrifying pursuit.  And there is often so much misrepresentation of it.  This film, like Hemingway himself, is blunt and true, and I was reminded, watching it, how much, as a young writer, I learned from him.  Economy of both thought and expression, the necessity of writing nothing, not one thing, that rings false, or is false.  The complete indifference to whatever glorious diversion might obstruct the path to purity of effort.  Then, to see the side of his life that chronicles some of the cost of pursuing the creation of his monumental gift, some of the wrong turns, the embrace of the false in other areas of his life – with his women and his wives, for instance; what a sad but so human revelation.

I fell in love with Cuba and the Cuban people at about the time Hemingway was leaving his secluded paradise there.  He was almost sixty, and would commit suicide very soon; I was sixteen, and suicidal about American racism and injustice. I used to wonder, on my visits to Cuba – usually to do work in defense of the people’s health and wholeness – why he was so universally admired there.  I hadn’t realized…

Continue reading, “Papa Hemingway In Cuba New film!” and en español, “Papa Hemingway en Cuba ¡Un nuevo filme!


The Battle Over Boycott:  the next great frontier.  See link below.

Link >> A New York Bill Penalizing Boycotts is a Threat to Democracy

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.—Abraham Lincoln

Source article


La batalla sobre el boicot: la próxima gran frontera. (Vea el link debajo)

Un proyecto de ley de Nueva York que penaliza el boicot es una amenaza a la democracia. 

“El trabajo es anterior al, e independiente del, capital. El capital es solo el fruto del trabajo y jamás hubiera podido existir de no haber existido primero el trabajo. El trabajo es superior al capital y merece la mayor consideración.” Abraham Lincoln

Artículo tomado de 



April 2016 / Abril 2016

Miles Ahead Alicewalkersgarden Alice Walker April 30 2016


A film by Don Cheadle

This afternoon I went with friends to see the new Don Cheadle film about Miles Davis, MILES AHEAD, that is playing at our local cinema.  It is fantastic.  I had seen a trailer in which Miles appears in a car chase shooting wildly out the window of his car.  In the film there is such a chase; Miles shooting out the window of a careening vehicle, and being shot at by someone in the music mafia who has orders to steal a musical tape he has made, and perhaps kill him…

Continue reading, MILES AHEAD A film by Don Cheadle



(*Juego de palabras con el nombre del músico que significa también “millas”.)


Un filme de Don Cheadle

Esta tarde fui con amigas a ver el nuevo filme de Don Cheadle sobre Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, que se exhibe en nuestro cine local. Es fantástico. Había visto un avance en el que aparece Miles en una persecución de autos disparando alocadamente desde la ventanilla de su carro. En el filme está esa persecución. Miles dispara desde la ventanilla de un vehículo a toda velocidad mientras a él le dispara alguien de la mafia de la música que tiene órdenes de robar una grabación musical que él ha hecho y, quizás, hasta matarle…

Mas en español, MILES POR DELANTE Un filme de Don Cheadle


David Icke: A Memory of Prince – Beyond Normal – YouTube


“Everything That Rises Must Converge” Pierre de Teilhard de Chardin.    This is why I respect and love David Icke.  Such a thoughtful, soulful, deeply aware requiem for Prince.  Who was a magical force but mysterious to me.  Which was fine.

Todo cuanto se levanta debe converger”, Pierre de Teilhard de Chardin. Es por esto que respeto a David Icke. Un réquiem tan considerado, conmovedor y profundamente consciente para Prince. Este era una fuerza mágica pero misteriosa para mí. Lo que estaba bien.

Dawning  LIGHT- aw

Bernie Sanders vs. the Out-of-touch American Jewish Establishment

Sanders’ Jewish socialism, his recognition of the injustice of the occupation, is a rebuke to those in the U.S. and Israel who believe Jews should only care about other Jews’ freedom and dignity. No wonder they’re trying to marginalize him.

Max Berger Apr 16, 2016 1:57 AM

Bernie backs the Jewish values we millenials believe in – and Israel’s not one of them

How I chose between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

As Jews in the U.S., we are taught over and over about the history of our persecution. American Jews are applying the lessons we learned from that history…

Continue Reading complete article, “Bernie Sanders vs. the Out-of-touch American Jewish Establishment” by Max Berger

En Español


Bernie Sanders versus el grupo de poder Judío Americano desconectado de la realidad

El socialismo judío de Sanders, su reconocimiento de la injusticia de la ocupación, es una crítica a aquellos que en los EE.UU. e Israel creen que los judíos solo deben preocuparse de la libertad y la dignidad de otros judíos. No es asombroso que traten de marginarlo.

Para Leer El Artículo


Where-to-Invade-Next-Michael Moore Poster Web Alice Walkers Garden

Two pieces of good news in a row.  Bernie Sanders wins Wisconsin, and Michael Moore’s new film Where To Invade Next is almost too good to be true.  Though a friend reminds me:  Nothing is too good to be true! The film invades half a dozen European (and Tunisia) countries and instead of grabbing land, families to enslave, oil or diamonds, Michael Moore “steals” the best ideas the countries offer.  I felt so hopeful after seeing this film.  Not everyone on the planet has fallen ill with the American disease of envy, greed, brutality, lack of empathy, and war, i.e., a love affair with death.  Instead they have taken what America used to stand for, and run with it.

Drop everything and go see this film.  You will be so glad you did!

Dos buenas noticias seguidas. Bernie Sanders gana en Winsconsin y el nuevo filme de Michael Moore, Where to Invade Next (¿A quién invadir después?) es casi demasiado bueno para ser verdad. Aunque una amiga me recuerda: ¡Nada es demasiado bueno para que sea verdad! La película invade media docena de países europeos (y a Tunes) y en lugar de arrebatar terrenos, familias para esclavizarlas, petróleo o diamantes, Michael Moore se “roba” las mejores ideas que esos países ofrecen. Me siento muy llena de esperanzas tras ver este filme. No todos en este planeta se han contagiado con la enfermedad norteamericana de la envidia, la avaricia, la crueldad, la falta de empatía y la guerra, o sea, un romance con la muerte. En vez de esto han tomado aquello con que Estados Unidos solía identificarse y han corrido con ello.

Deje todo y corra a ver el filme. ¡Se sentirá muy feliz de hacerlo!


Other Great News From “Other People’s Everything, Inc.”

There are almost too many great books lately to share with any kind of depth, but if I keep putting off writing about them I’m afraid they will vanish. I will list the ones that come to mind and between chores attempt to fill in what’s missing: you won’t regret staying tuned.  Humans are at it again: showing us what’s possible! WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR, BY PAUL KALINITHI, made me so glad Paul existed I could hardly sit still. It’s a wonderful book about a wonderful human being.  Living and dying with so much grace and dignity I’m still weeping as I write this, and it’s been months!  Ruth OZeki’s amazing books: My YEAR Of MEATS  and A TALE  FOR THE TIME BEING lit up my mind and soul for a couple of weeks.  She was such a surprise! I love the Japanese/American-ness of her!  I AM MALALA, by Malala Yousafzai, shines…

Continue Reading, Other Great News From “Other People’s Everything, Inc.” y en español



Very Best News: Aung San Suu Kyi’s party comes to power at last in Myanmar (Burma) and a law is proposed to make her the “president’s boss.”  Since she cannot, due to illegal maneuvers by the generals of the old regime, become president.  Here is a woman, like Malala of Pakistan, like Celia Sanchez of Cuba, who demonstrates womanism at its best.

Muy buena noticia: el partido de Aung San Suu Kyi llega al poder por fin en Myanmar (Birmania) y una ley se propone convertirla en “jefa del presidente”. Esto se debe a que ella no puede, debido a maniobras ilegales de los generales del antiguo régimen, convertirse en presidenta. He aquí una mujer, como Malala de Pakistán, como Celia Sánchez de Cuba, que corroboran el “mujerismo” (la esencia de ser mujer) en su mejor forma.


Rev E Eloise Oliver EBCRS

Happy Birthday and Thank You to a Great Spiritual Leader, Rev. Eloise Oliver  (April 1) of East Bay Church of Religious Science (See YouTube interview on Empathy)

Feliz cumpleaños y gracias a un gran guía espiritual, el reverendo Eloise Oliver (1 de abril) de la Iglesia de Ciencia Religiosa en East Bay. (Vea la entrevista en YouTube sobre empatía)

March 2016

Happy Birthday to a Great Artist of Music, Tracy Chapman, March 30

Feliz cumpleaños a una gran artista de la música, Tracy Chapman, 30 de marzo.


Why does the US media lie so much?   (Cynthia McKinney and the questions that matter…)

Cynthia McKinneyAfter serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.

Article Source URL  | More RT from Cynthia McKinney


why does media lie  © Chip East  / Reuters

© Chip East / Reuters

Either by omission or by commission, the US media actively misinforms the public on crucial issues that matter. The reason they do this is because they legally can.

My mentor and dissertation committee member, Dr. Peter Dale Scott, recently wrote on his Facebook page: “Inadequate decently priced housing is one of America’s most urgent domestic problems, with developers vacating neighborhoods to build third and fourth homes for the one percent. It is a symptom of what’s wrong that Cynthia McKinney, one of the relatively few former members of Congress with a Ph.D., has to go to RT to discuss a crisis that is so under-reported in the US media.”

And therein lies the problem with US media: The news is so filtered and in some cases propagandized that it bears little resemblance to the day-to-day intellectual needs of the average US citizen. It fails to provide solutions, let alone information that allows US citizens to cast informed votes. Either by omission or by commission, the US media actively under-, ill-, or misinforms the public on crucial issues that matter! The reason they do this is because they legally can. Media in the US has at least one court ruling that allows them to knowingly lie to the public…

Continue Reading, Why does the Media Lie So Much? by Cynthia McKinney y En Español Tambien 


Sunflower Close Alicewalkersgarden Alice Walker Author


Acceptance Speech: The Mahmoud Darwish Award For Literature:  March 10, 2016

©2016 by Alice Walker

It is a distinct honor to receive this award that is named for the brave and brilliant Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish.  Mahmoud Darwish wrote from the very heart of dispossession, cruelty, oppression and terror.  That his own heart eventually gave out, and that he died at a relatively young age, is testament to his sufferings as a highly conscious, well educated and well traveled Palestinian.  When I think of him I am reminded of how many of us, especially in these dark times, live mainly by the will of our deep love of our peoples, our cultures, our memories, ourselves – as the expression of thousands of years, and more, of existence on this extraordinary planet.

I believe the issue of Palestine and its liberation to be the defining Movement for Freedom and Autonomy of our time.  It is often possible to tell almost everything one needs to know about a person by how they perceive what is happening to the Palestinian people.  Though many still claim ignorance of Palestine’s history of dispossession under Zionist Israeli rule, more and more of the world has committed to study the real history, as opposed to the contrived, and can see clearly what has been, and is still, being done:  The bombing of cities, the stealing of land, houses and businesses, the unconscionable battering, incarceration and murder of Palestinians of any age or sex, but especially the hunting down and killing of children.  Every day in my Inbox I am informed of these child murders, which, as a mother, but really as a human being, I find almost unbearable. …



From:  A Lover From Palestine, by Mahmoud Darwish

In the briar-covered mountains I saw you,

A shepherdess without sheep,

Pursued among the ruins.

You were my garden, and I a stranger,

Knocking at the door, my heart,

For upon my heart stand firm

The door and windows, the cement and stones.

I have seen you in casks of water, in granaries,

Broken, I have seen you a maid in night clubs,

I have seen you in the gleam of tears and in wounds.

You are the other lung in my chest;

You are the sound on my lips;

You are water; you are fire.


 Discurso de aceptación del Premio de Literatura Mahmoud Darwish, 10 de marzo de 2016

©2016 Alice Walker

Es un destacado honor recibir este premio que lleva el nombre del valeroso y brillante poeta palestino Mahmoud Darwish. Darwish escribió desde el mismo corazón de la desposesión, la crueldad, la opresión y el terror. El que su propio corazón finalmente cediera y él muriera a una edad relativamente joven testimonia de sus sufrimientos como un palestino altamente consciente, bien educado y que viajó mucho. Cuando pienso en él me viene a la mente cuántos de nosotros, especialmente en estos tiempos oscuros, vivimos fundamentalmente por la voluntad de nuestro profundo amor a nuestros pueblos, nuestras culturas, nuestra memoria y a nosotros mismos, como expresión de miles de años y más de existencia sobre este extraordinario planeta.  



De: Una amante de Palestina (A Lover From Palestine), de Mahmoud Darwish

En las montañas cubiertas de brezo te vi,

pastora sin ovejas,

perseguida entre las ruinas.

Eras mi jardín y yo un extraño,

tocando a la puerta, mi corazón,

pues sobre mi corazón se alzan firmes

la puerta y las ventanas, el cemento y las piedras.

Continue to read,  De: Una amante de Palestina (A Lover From Palestine), de Mahmoud Darwish


Never forget the blooming beauty that is ours; celebrate the human Spring. – AW
 “Lakota Butterfly”                                          

Available as 11X14 framed color print $90.00

The Musical Offering Cafe & CD Shop

2430 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, CA 94704



February 2016

The Last day of a very short month!

Cornel West lashes out at civil rights icons after Bernie Sanders suffers resounding South Carolina defeat

“There’s no doubt that the great John Lewis of 50 years ago is different than the John Lewis today”


Cornel West lashes out at civil rights icons after Bernie Sanders suffers resounding South Carolina defeat

Bernie Sanders, Cornel West  (Credit: AP/John Locher/Richard Drew)

On Saturday, the Sanders campaign suffered what the candidate described as a decimation at the hands of Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, losing his third election by nearly 50 percentage points.

“In politics, on a given night, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Tonight we lost,” Sanders gracefully conceded that evening, before moving on to campaign in the Super Tuesday state of Minnesota. But some of Sanders’ surrogates haven’t been so graceful in their concession of defeat after putting up a valiant fight for the African-American vote.

Cornel West told Vice News last week that he feared many of Clinton’s most prominent African-American supporters had lost their way. The vocal Sanders supporter singled out Congressmen John Lewis and Jim Clyburn repeatedly.

“There’s no doubt that the great John Lewis of 50 years ago is different than the John Lewis today,” West asserted. “He’s my brother. I love him, I respect his personhood, but there’s no doubt he’s gone from a high moment of Martin Luther King-like struggle to now [a] neoliberal politician in a system that is characterized more and more by legalized bribery and normalized corruption. That’s what big money does to politics. And the Clinton machine is an example of that.”

West argued that “most black politicians these days are neoliberal politicians, so it’s almost natural for them to side with Hillary Clinton.” West said that Clyburn and Lewis had become “too well adjusted to Wall Street” and are now a part of a system “in which politicians are well adjusted to injustice owing to their ties to big money, big banks, and big corporations, and turning their backs, for the most part, to poor people and working people. Poor people and working people become afterthoughts.”

The John Lewis I dedicated my novel MERIDIAN to all those decades ago could not be this one.  That is true and deeply sad. Return of the Dark Ages, indeed.



This month I will be communicating with readers via

in celebration of Black History Month

Alice Walker The Color Purple Broadway 2016


Thank you, Mondoweiss!

As Tel Aviv prepares to welcome Beyoncé, here’s a review of Israel’s atrocious record towards black people

Why “Womanism” Exists:  Hillary Clinton and the Old World Order

(Alice Walker Blog)

 Hillary Clinton’s Empowerment

by Kevin Young & Diana C. Sierra Becerra

Hillary Clinton isn’t a champion of women’s rights.

She’s the embodiment of corporate feminism.


Thank you, Michelle Alexander!

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote


#SayHerName — #NatashaMcKenna


Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

telefax: ++972-(0)2-5700112

Mobile: ++972-(0)547-578703


Subject: Israeli woman faces jail for refusing to serve in IDF over Palestinian kids, occupation — RT News

The movement for Palestinian rights grows more creative and dynamic every day, yielding so many achievements that it can be hard to keep up! At the US Campaign, we maintain a growing list of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) victories nationwide, which total more than 150 to date! Visit for the inspiring list of BDS breakthroughs!