What are the main points in Alice Walker's "In Search of Our others Mothers' Gardens?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Many specific points of interest emerge from Walker's collection of essays.  I think that one of the most overwhelming is that the artist's journey is one the embraces freedom to construct both their own identity and the shape of their world.  Walker delves into this through reflection about self and society.  At the same time, one of the critical points that arises from the work is that the current artist owes a great deal to those that preceded and as large of a debt to those who follow. Walker stresses that the artist is not isolated from a social and political commitment to others.  This takes the form of being able to identify forces that compel one to model themselves in the light of others.  For example, Dr. King is one such model for Walker, herself.  Another is the role of other writers such as Hurston.  In this light, Walker creates both a sense of intellectual intertextuality and a sense of solidarity between those that precede the artist and those that follow.  This creates a powerful dynamic where one understands their own artistic freedom, but also grasps the need to guide it towards end that connect the artist to others.

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