1982: The Color Purple
Author/Editor: Alice Walker
The story of a black woman named Celie, The Color Purple is a powerful depiction of racial, cultural, and gender issues in the rural South. The narrative is conveyed through letters that Celie writes to God, describing the people in her life and the relationships that she has with them. The personal journey that Celie experiences and the growth of her understanding about the world and herself as the story progresses can be seen from the increasingly introspective and analytical “letters.” This book speaks to the power of female relationships and solidarity in the face of adversity.
A very well-received film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg was released in 1985. The Color Purple (film) was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, although it won none.