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Published on Jan 21, 2011
Isabel Wilkerson, journalist and author of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," speaks at Yale as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism. The event was co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies.
Inspired by her own parents' migration, Wilkerson devoted 15 years researching and writing her first book, "The Warmth of Other Suns." The book chronicles the stories of a sharecropper's wife, a laborer and a surgeon who were among the six million black Americans that fled the American South during the Great Migration between World War I and the 1970s. It is the story of how the northern cities evolve as a result of the migration, of the music and culture that might not have existed had these individuals not left the South in search of new beginnings.
Named one of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year, "The Warmth of Other Suns" (September 2010) has received critical acclaim for telling one of the greatest underreported stories in American history. Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,200 individuals, unearthed archival works and gathered the voices of the famous and the unknown to tell the epic story.