Why 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!”
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…