The book tells the incredible story of what is referred to as 'The Great Migration', during which millions of African-American from the places of their birth in the south to U.S. northern states in search of greater freedom and opportunity by escaping the terrorism and humiliation of segregation and Jim Crow.
The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “Not since Alex Haley’s Roots has there been a history of equal literary quality where the writing surmounts the rhythmic soul of fiction, where the writer’s voice sings a song of redemptive glory as true as Faulkner’s southern cantatas.”
Imagine, if you can, a system so horrendous and daily degradation so dehumanizing to the human spirit that the only way to deal with it and protect your dignity and sanity is to leave. It is a little known, little understood and understudied piece of American history that deserves telling and remembering.
That's why I'm excited that our friends Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will be hosting Ms. Wilkerson at their annual Martin Luther King Symposium in January 2012. She will discuss her book and its place in the history of the Civil Rights Movement in our country. I'm looking forward to it and I encourage you to take the opportunity to share in what I know will be an enlightening and exciting event!
More information later. In the meantime, enjoy this clip of Isabel Wilkerson discussing one of the best books the Urban Engagement Book Club has ever had the pleasure of reviewing!