According to James Gregory’s book The Southerner Diaspora, Black Migration picked up from the start of 1900s when 204,000 Black Americans left the south in the 1st decade. The pace accelerated with WWI and continued through the ‘20s; by 1930s there were 1.3 million former Black southerners living in other regions. The US Census Bureau shows 1.4 million Black southerners migrated north or west in 1940, another 1.1 million in 1956, and another 2.4 million in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Clear migratory patterns link states and cities in the South to corresponding destinations.
2019’s BLACK MIGRATION series features panel discussions, literary arts performances, music, storytelling, re-enactments, drama, and dance to examine and showcase migratory patterns during the Migration out of the south & Reverse Migration back in 1980s- early 1990s.
Pulitzer Award Winner Isabel Wilkerson’s epic book The Warmth of Other Suns jumpstarts this Black Migration series. Wilkerson’s book covers migration from 1915-1970. Wilkerson interviewed hundreds of people in researching this book, which took 18 years to complete. “A seminal work of narrative nonfiction…you will never forget these people,” author Gay Talese declared. Hordesof readers have seconded that emotion. This 620-page gem is filled with quotes moving the story along,including those from Richard Wright, Mahalia Jackson, James Baldwin, Laura Arnold, Deuteronomy 26:6, Jeremiah 8:7, and John Steinbeck.
PRESENTERS: Barry Saunders, author and columnist, and Dr. Dudley Flood, educator, historian, and activist, review parts of Wilkerson’s book, and will make this a lively and entertaining evening.