I thought I knew the outlines of America’s racial history, from the battles of the civil war to the struggles for civil rights. I knew very little. Isabel Wilkerson’s book helped me imagine the inside story, and absorb some astonishing details.
It’s a great read about America’s 20th century “great migration”, the outflow of around six million black southerners over six decades. It’s a vast “macro” book that’s anchored in three “micro” stories about Ida Mae, George and Pershing – ordinary characters who did the extraordinary thing of leaving everything they knew, risking punishment or worse, and heading north. Continue reading