Healing begins where the wound was made.

Alice Walker

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker has been lauded for her compassionate perspectives on culture and society, as well as on the Black experience — particularly the Black woman’s experience — as it pertains to both. She’s contributed significant works to the American literary canon, including “The Color Purple” and “The Way Forward Is With a Broken Heart,” the latter of which is excerpted here. In context, Walker is specifically speaking about her call to activism in the face of challenges that appear insurmountable. She argues that finding a way forward requires us to face this inequity and pain head-on, whether it’s through social activism or, on an individual level, mustering up the emotional vulnerability and strength to acknowledge the hurt in order to heal it. Both methods enable us to bear conscious witness to hardship and suffering in the world so that we may find meaningful ways to alleviate it for others and within ourselves.