Page 101. " Know Sophie Tucker, know Duke Ellington "

Sophie Tucker (1884-1966) was a once massively popular Russian-born American singer and entertainer whose stage image emphasized her raucous 'fat girl' image: her songs included 'I Don't Want to Get Thin' and 'Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love'. She went on to add blues and jazz to her ragtime repertoire. Her 1911 hit 'Some of These Days' became her trademark song.

Listen on Spotify:   Some of These Days     I Don't Want to Get Thin

Duke Ellington (1899-1974) was a pianist and one of the greatest Jazz composers and bandleaders of all time. He is one of the originators of Big Band music and led his own band for more than half a century.

Listen on Spotify:   In a Sentimental Mood    It Don't Mean a Thing


Page 103. " And then she haul off and kiss me on the mouth. "

Lesbianism in the novel is linked to the colour purple. But purple also suggests other things: bruises, royalty, nature. Through her lesbianism Celie begins to learn about herself, not how to be a copy of other people like Sophia or Shug. It invests Celie with a sense of power.

Page 118. " greater than Milledgeville or even Atlanta "
Old Map of Atlanta
Public DomainOld Map of Atlanta

Milledgeville is a city in Georgia, USA. It is just northeast of Macon and the county seat of Baldwin County.

Milledgeville, GA
Public DomainMilledgeville, GA







Atlanta is the capital city of the state of Georgia.

Google Map
Page 122. " Somebody called Speke, somebody called Livingstone. "

John Speke
Public DomainJohn Speke
John Hanning Speke
was an officer in the British Indian Army. He made three expeditions to Africa and is associated with the search for the source of the Nile.

David Livingstone was a medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa.

Page 124. " I get this from reading a man named J.A. Rogers "

J.A. Rogers
Public DomainJ.A. Rogers

J.A. Rogers was a prominent Jamaican-American author and historian. His works include From "Superman" to Man. Roger's work was concerned with 'the Great Black Man', a theory which presented history (particularly black history) as a mural of achievements by prominent black people.