i n t e rv i e w ...................... Alice Walker "I know what the earth says." "I know what the earth says." by William R. Ferris "You cannot separate yourself ever from the earth. . . . If you understand that, you lose all fear of dying. You may be grass, you may be a cow, but you'll always be here, in fact even if they shoot you." Alice Walker, Rowan Oak, Oxford, Mississippi (1994). Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were taken by William R. Ferris and are used courtesy of the William R. Ferris Papers in the Southern Folklife Collection at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My friendship with Alice Walker began in the fall of 1970 when I taught in the English department of Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. At that time Alice lived in Jackson and had just finished her manuscript of The Third Life of Grange Copeland. She shared with me encouraging comments that Ernest Gaines had written about the manuscript. During that time Alice also published her impressive volume of poetry Revolutionary Petunias and did an important interview with Eudora Welty that was published in the Harvard Advocate.
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: May 3, 2004