Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Fifty-Six

By Alice Walker

Letter Fifty-Six

  • Nettie’s fifth letter.
  • Nettie doesn’t feel like a servant even though she works for Samuel and Corrine.
  • She suddenly realizes that people in the Bible were black— even Jesus was black, she says. It fills her with pride and self-confidence.
  • In New York, she sees proud black communities and realizes that not all African-American families in the United States are as poor or beaten down as her own family is.
  • Nettie is dismayed seeing all the pictures of white missionaries who have gone to Africa, but when Samuel reminds her that they have an advantage, being black, she perks right up.