O dear, I’m in trouble now.
Having looked for an inspirational person on desert Island discs (radio 4) to listen to, as par the Cultural Consumption task instructions, I managed to download a full dozen from the back catalogue before I remembered I only had to listen to one.
The next day I started to listen to them – Quentin Blake, Rankin, Darcey Bussell, Camila Batmanghelidjh, Sir Cecil Beaton, Grayson Perry, Victoria Wood, Posy Simmonds – when I worked at the computer and really enjoyed them. In my car I listen to the podcast Stuff You Should Know, and I was ripe to find something similar to listen to that was both educational and humorous. I’m now signed up to the podcasts and am working my way through the archive downloading as I go.
The inspirational person I picked from the list of downloads was Alice Walker. I wanted to listen to her Desert Island Discs as I’m currently reading her Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award winning book The Colour Purple (1982). The book is about the story of a young black woman fighting her way through not only racist white culture, but patriarchal black culture. It deals with racism, slavery, family, domestic and sexual abuse, sexuality, responsibility, oppression, and femin
ism, amongst many more complex subjects.
Alice is an internationally celebrated author, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. In her podcast she talks about proposing to her husband simply so she, as a black women, could marry a black man because society said she couldn’t. She also described her time in the southern states with her husband where inter-race marriages were illegal and issues surrounding her estranged daughter. She also discussed her childhood during which time she was blinded in one eye by her brother’s BB gun.
She was a really interesting person to learn more about as she has never shied away from challenging the status quo, but her methods and reasoning can be presented for much thoughtful debate.
If you would like to listen to Alice Walker’s Desert Island Discs, she was castaway on Sunday 19 May 2013.