Torch readers might remember that back in August, The Color Purple author Alice Walker was invited to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women (CEW)—and then was disinvited. While observers were still speculating about whether the change was due to Michigan donors’ concerns about her criticism of Israel or whether CEW simply wanted to, as it claimed, maintain the “celebratory nature” of their event, Michigan’s Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and CEW invited Walker back. Just last week, Walker accepted that invitation, and she will be giving the department’s biennial Zora Neale Hurston lecture on November 5, 2014, the closing event of CEW’s 50th anniversary celebration.
It might never be clear what really motivated CEW, but it is a positive sign that in any case, the heckler’s veto did not ultimately prevail. After all, it wasn’t even disinvitation season.