Alice Walker Comes Under Fire for New Book

AliceWalkerAlice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of such classics as The Color Purple and The Temple of My Familiar, has been harshly criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for her book of essays, The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Be in Harm’s Way (The New Press, 2013). Included in the book is an 80-page discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before.  Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world.”

On her website, Walker responded, “To say that anyone who criticizes this violence is ‘anti-Semitic’ is truly warped. Besides, it turns out that the Arabs, the Palestinians, are Semites, and that perhaps 94 per cent of Jews, the Askenazi who hail from ancient Kharzaria in the Caucusus, are not.” Walker’s husband from 1967 to their divorce in 1976, was Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer.

Walker attended Spelman College but transferred and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She has served on the faculty at Jackson State University and Tougaloo College.

Related Articles


  1. This is foolishness. Any criticism of Israel, and the Zionist lobbies come out whining and crying. The conflagration of Jewishness and the apartheid state of Israel is one that has been successfully made through years of pressure. I support (and have supported) Alice Walker!

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

South Carolina State University Adds Concentration in Fire Protection Engineering for Civil Engineering Students

The civil engineering degree program at historically Black South Carolina State University has established a concentration in fire protection engineering. The program was developed with guidance from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Taking n new administrative roles are Keith Humphrey at the University of Memphis, DeMarcus Hopson at Georgetown College in Kentocky, Sonja Brown at Fayetteville State University, Denisha Hendricks at Johnson C. Smith University, and CJ Charlton at Delaware State University.

Featured Jobs