Alice Walker, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature (for The Color Purple), is profiled in tonight’s edition of American Masters on certain PBS stations at 9:00, check local listings. The film charts Walker’s journey from her birth into a family of sharecroppers in Georgia, to the present. Living through the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America, Walker overcame adversity to achieve international recognition as one of the most influential — and controversial — writers of the 20th century.
Tonight’s episode of American Masters is : Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, a look at the life of the famed journalist who, among other things, co-founded and worked as the editor of influential literary magazine The Paris Review for 50 years, wrote for Sports Illustrated; hung out with U.S. Presidents and was part of the Kennedys’ inner circle; played quarterback for the Detroit Lions; got Willie Mays to pop out in Yankee Stadium; photographed Playboy models; played goalie for the Boston Bruins; performed with the New York Philharmonic; boxed against light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore; acted alongside John Wayne, Warren Beatty and Matt Damon; and authored more than 15 books. Certain PBS stations have it at 9:00, check local listings.
Tonight’s edition of American Masters is Althea, about Althea Gibson, the first black person to play and win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills, a decade before Arthur Ashe, on PBS at 9:00 (but check local listings).