ALICE WALKER is the author of many books of fiction and essays, including The Color Purple (1982), which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. In addition, she is a poet and human rights activist who has spoken out on issues including political oppression, female genital mutilation, and massacres in Rwanda and Gaza. Walker delivered this address on Founders’ Day, 1987, at her alma mater, Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia.