The U-M Department of Afro American and African Studies (DAAS) and the U-M Center for the Education of Women (CEW) and are pleased to announce that internationally celebrated author and activist Alice Walker will be delivering the annual Zora Neale Hurston Lecture on 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 Afro American 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.
Additional funding for the event was provided by CEW’s Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at www.cew.umich.edu