In 2006 Alice Walker, working with Women for Women International, visited Rwanda and the eastern Congo to witness the aftermath of the genocide in Kigali. Invited by Code Pink, an antiwar group working to end the Iraq War, Walker traveled to Palestine/Israel three years later to view the devastation on the Gaza Strip. Here is her testimony. Bearing witness to the depravity and cruelty, she presents the stories of the individuals who crossed her path and shared their tales of suffering and courage. Part of what has happened to human beings over the last century, she believes, is that we have been rendered speechless by unusually barbaric behavior that devalues human life. We have no words to describe what we witness. Self-imposed silence has slowed our response to the plight of those who most need us, often women and children, but also men of conscience who resist evil but are outnumbered by those around them who have fallen victim to a belief in weapons, male or ethnic dominance, and greed.
Acclaimed author, poet, feminist, activist, and, at the age of just thirty-nine, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, Alice Walker is one of our most extraordinary living writers. From her discussions of black identity and feminism to ruminations on suffering and joy, Walker’s work has consistently displayed her extraordinary literary gifts, her fierce intelligence, and the deep political and spiritual convictions that… Continue reading
“[These] poems grow as naturally on the page as grass and flowers, yet never try to conceal a terrain of early graves, emotional land mines, and levies of sorrow.”
– Gloria Steinem, author of Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions
“Alice Walker’s new poems are a lifeboat in a storm, warm soup in the mouth, a rumba in the streets of the heart.”