The Great Migration: Journey That Reshaped America

Isabel Wilkerson speaking about her book, “The Warmth of Other Sons.”

In this 2010  NPR Author Interview, Isabel Wilkerson describes the impact of the Great Migration on U.S. history. NPR introduces the interview this way,

It is a migration unmatched in American history. In the middle of the 20th century, more than 6 million African Americans left behind everything they knew in the South and headed to the North, Midwest and West Coast. In their search for work, education and opportunity, they changed the culture of the nation.

Despite the importance of this history, outside of fans of Jacob Lawrence’s epic series The Great Migration, it had received very little attention until Wilkerson’s book “The Warmth of Other Suns” was released.  This link takes you to a transcription of the interview along with an excerpt from Wilkerson’s book.

Teaching Ideas

The interview about speaks to several questions in the Re-Imagining Migration learning arc including, why do people leave their homes? and what do people experience as they move from one place to another? You might use the interview to explore those questions.

After listening to the interview, consider the significance of “The Great Migration.”  You might use the Project Zero Three Whys Thinking Routine to structure that reflection.