Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Fifty-Eight

By Alice Walker

Letter Fifty-Eight

  • Nettie’s seventh letter.
  • Nettie is traveling through Africa and feels like she is seeing black people for the first time. She’s amazed and in admiration of how dark-skinned the people of Senegal are.
  • There are plenty of white people in Africa, which Nettie wasn’t expecting.
  • One of the white people Nettie meets is the president of Liberia, Mr. Tubman. She’s dismayed with the way he disparagingly refers to African "natives."
  • Nettie also notices how none of the people in the president’s cabinet—the other men ruling the country—look like "natives," and neither do any of their wives.
  • Nettie does observe some of the villages and notices how the tired women in the fields sing just like the black people in America do.
  • Recalling when she first saw the African coast, Nettie says she was overwhelmed. She, Corrine, and Samuel all knelt down and thanked God for letting them see Africa.