U.S.A. / 2010
This tour de force explores the history and impact of The Great Migration - the period between 1910 and 1970 when 6 MILLION Black American southerners left the violent south for the relatively more accepting north. What I love about Wilkerson's book (which I've been dying to read but haven't had the chance yet) is how she talks about The Great Migration as a fleeing and as a testament to our incredible strength as Black people in this fucked up country. Part of the (non-southern) Black American experience is going back "down south" to visit family either once a year or every couple summers. That's the farthest back a lot of us can go: the south. My immediate ancestors came from a tiny town called Desha in Arkansas. In the 1950s, they packed up everything, loaded up on a bus and came to Wisconsin. However, my southern experience happened in Mississippi, because after they came to Wisconsin, my great-grandparents moved to Mississippi! Very random, but they went back down south very ironically - because their son opened a doctor's office. Things come full circle in strange ways. Has anyone read this book? What's your Great Migration story? Where did you spend your summers?