Margaret Walker published her only novel Jubilee in 1966. Based on the story of her great-grandmother, the novel ushered in the era of neo-slave narratives. Though she published twelve books during her lifetime, her major legacy is the Institute for the Study of History, Life and Culture of Black People which she founded in 1986, and was later renamed the Margaret Walker Center in her honor.
“Keeping hatred inside makes you git mean and evil inside. We supposen to love everybody like God loves us. And when you forgives you feels sorry for the one what hurt you, you returns love for hate, and good for evil. And that stretches your heart and makes you bigger inside with a bigger heart so’s you can love everybody when your heart is big enough. Your chest gets broad like this, and you can lick the world with a loving heart! Now when you hates you shrinks up inside and gets littler and you squeezes your heart tight and you stays so mad with peoples you feels sick all the time like you needs the doctor. Folks with a loving heart don’t never need no doctor.” – Margaret Walker, Jubilee