Alice Walker, Novelist and Human Rights Activist, to deliver the U-M Zora Neale Hurston Lecture November 5, 2014

The U-M Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the U-M Center for the Education of Women (CEW) are pleased to announce that internationally celebrated author and activist Alice Walker will be delivering the 20th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Lecture on Wednesday, November 5th from 5:30-7:00 pm at Hill Auditorium on the U-M Campus in Ann Arbor.

The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Color Purple will explore social justice issues from her unique womanist and black feminist perspective, reflecting on the complementary missions of DAAS and CEW. Ms. Walker’s work focuses on the role of women of color in history, culture, and society.

In addition to her writing, Ms. Walker is a passionate activist and defender of human rights. After meeting Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1960s, she was compelled to return to the south after college and join the struggle against segregation. Her involvement in the civil rights movement and subsequent activism helped to shape her poetry and novels, and she emerged as a leading voice of the literary and feminist community in the 1980s.

Her experiences growing up in the Jim Crow South, in addition to African-American woman writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, heavily influenced her writing. She was inspired to write The Color Purple to convey the largely untold story of women of color in the south in the early 20th century. She is the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, though (in her opinion) not the first African-American woman to deserve it.

The Zora Neale Hurston lecture at the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies honors Hurston, the most prolific African-American woman writer of her time, who brought to life the power, richness and complexity of black cultures for many readers.

The lecture will be the closing of a series of events throughout 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of CEW.

Major funding for the 2014 lecture was provided by CEW’s Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.
CEW also thanks premier anniversary sponsor, TIAA-CREF for its support of CEW’s Anniversary events.

Thank you for your interest in the lecture. At this time we are no longer accepting additional registrations. Although this event is free and open to the public, registration was requested for planning purposes. There are no tickets for this event, and seating is on a first-come, first served basis. The doors will open at 5pm, and we recommend that you arrive early to guarantee your seat.

Parking: Limited general public parking will be available for $5.00 on a first-come, first served basis at the U-M blue lots located on Thayer St (Section 2H-I on map) and Fletcher St (Section 2K-L on map) structures after 5:00 pm.

For Fletcher Structure, please use lower ramp after 5 pm for parking.


Click here for Map of U-M Central Campus and Parking.