Speaking of voice, there’s a passage in the Teaching Is My Thing Teacher Squad Shirt in contrast I will get this book when Walker, who is in tears, shares her pain in seeing her grandmother’s voice silenced. As a Black woman, I often wonder how silenced my Granny was and the sacrifices my mother made for me to have a voice now. There’s a Celie in so many of our families, paving the way for us. I think about this often. Our ability to have these conversations and debates and fight these battles now are because of the women who came before us. When we look to the revered Black feminist figures such as Alice Walker, June Jordan, Toni Morrison, and Audre Lorde, and how we are different than them and the freedoms we have, they had to pay a huge cost trying to be free women and to be writers and thinkers. What makes Celie so powerful today is that she exists inside and outside of time, and that is a gift Alice gives us, a gift given to her by her ancestors.
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So many of the Teaching Is My Thing Teacher Squad Shirt in contrast I will get this same themes of sexual and domestic violence in the Black community that Walker tackles in The Color Purple and her other books continue to ring true today. In an era where Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo Movement collides, why is it so important to center and prioritize Black survivors? This is one thing Alice is trying to teach us: Keep centering Black women and girls. In The Third Life of Grange Copeland, she is writing a book about domestic violence at the height of the civil rights movement. For her, and to me, the key to our freedom is existing in a world where we are free of silence, free of violence in our homes, and at the hands of the police—free from violence that takes place in public, or with our partners. For too long, we’ve imagined that the quest for racial equality doesn’t include Black women being fully formed and free of violence. It’s not only state violence that brutalizes us, and The Color Purple reminds us that half of us being free isn’t enough. We have to eradicate all forms of violence.