Why did I love this book?
On November 6, 2011, I went to see an interview of Isabel Wilkerson. I had never heard of her before, but I loved the publicized summary of her new book that told the story of the great migration of 6 million Black people from the South to the North and West. I loved the fact that she told this amazing historical story through the experiences of 3 different people from 3 different states, who migrated to 3 unique regions of the country.
During the interview, I learned that this brilliant Black female scholar devoted 15 years of research to this book. I was so impressed by her, that after the interview, I stood in line for over an hour to get her to autograph 3 books; one for each of my daughters, Ariel and Akilah, and one for me.
That was over a decade ago. I finally read the book this summer after my 84-year-old Aunt Lottie in Minnesota sent me an email lauding the book and encouraged me to read it. She said, “it was our family’s story.” Once I began reading, I could not stop. It was so beautifully written and filled with facts, data, and wonderful anecdotes. When I stopped reading at night, I dreamt about awakening quickly so that I could continue reading.
Isabel’s autograph read: “To Steve, the grandson of Jimmie and Babe Grant, who journeyed from Mississippi and Louisiana! This is your story!”