Pulitzer Prize Winner Isabel Wilkerson On 'America's Great Migration'

Dec 19, 2014

This interview with Isabel Wilkerson was originally broadcast in October of 2014.

For decades after slavery ended, African Americans continued a mighty struggle against a caste system grounded in racism. Pervasive discrimination kept many blacks from building decent lives in the southern states they called home. Faced with few choices, they undertook one of the largest migrations in our nation’s history, with more than 6 million making their way to Midwestern, Western and Eastern cities between 1915 and 1970.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, explores the conditions they endured and the journeys they made in her New York Times bestseller, "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration." The book is now out in paperback.

Wilkerson spent 15 years interviewing more than 1,200 people to write "The Warmth of Other Suns."

In the book, she traces the lives of three representative young people who made the difficult decision to leave their homes during three different decades in history.

The book won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and was named to 30 Best Book of the Year lists.

Wilkerson formerly was with The New York Times, where she won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief.

Isabel Wilkerson visited Boise in October 2014 to speak at the Idaho Humanities Council’s 18th Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner.

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio