No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

Alice Walker

In 1972, writer and activist Alice Walker delivered this empowering message to students at her alma mater of Sarah Lawrence College. Following the success of her novel "The Color Purple" in 1982, Walker published this speech in her collection of essays "In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens." With this statement, she encourages self-respect in the face of mistreatment by those who dismiss, limit, or neglect your value. She reinforces this advice throughout the speech by highlighting the often-overlooked contributions of Black women. In so doing, she braces women of color for the reality of their struggle, while inspiring them with the determination to overcome it. It's a credo that can resonate with anyone: A true friend is someone who supports you and encourages you to be your best, authentic self.