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Tending to Our Gardens While Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

Black Girls Smile remains a safe supportive space for the LGBTQ+ community, and particularly our Black trans sisters. We marvel at your authenticity and your courage to live your life proud and out loud. In honor of the end of Pride Month, we would like to provide some highlights from our interview last month with Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker about her newly released memoir, “Gathering Blossoms Under Fire'' and her journey to being her authentic self.

Q: Your writing often draws on themes of flowers, gardening and blooming. Why do you think you’re drawn to these themes and what seeds have you continued to sow in your own life?

Alice Walker: Well, you have to understand that in a way gardening is a practice. Like any other practice, it’s like meditating. It’s like slow walking is what the soul needs to gather itself in order to basically live fully in the world. And so, you know, it’s hard to say exactly what you’re always you know, tending, you know, you’re tending whatever, you know, whatever drops into your heart…

“I want us to become super grounded in the reality of what this planet does on its own time.” –Alice Walker

Q: Can you talk about what compelled you to be so vulnerable in sharing your experiences and your innermost thoughts with the world, with the community, and what compelled you to hold on to your journals for all these years?

Alice Walker: …You know when things are looking up and we’re doing well and we forget that the pond is full of places where you can just fall right back into the freezing water. And I would like us to outgrow this. And so that’s why it’s important to have a journal to keep a journal, to share our journey to understand that, you know, you have issues in life that are really pretty much like the issues that most people have, if they are alive…

Q: One of my favorite parts of reading the journals was learning about how animals were the perfect companions and healers in your life. Can you talk about the animals in your life and how they nurture today?

Alice Walker: … My own belief is that dogs are the most evolved of you know what’s here because they’re the most forgiving and they are the most loving. And this is you know, this is high elevation, this is high development, to be able to love and to forgive and not to hold on to what somebody did to you years later

Dedicated to the late Valerie Boyd 🌸

To see the full interview.

To purchase copies of “Gathering Blossoms Under Fire”.

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