WHO: Isabel Wilkerson
WHAT: The first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism
WHEN: Born in 1961
WHERE: Born in Washington, D.C.; currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia
WORK WE HAVE HERE AT LC:
The Warmth of Other Suns: "Chronicles the decades-long migration of African-Americans who fled the South for northern and western cities between 1915 and 1970, discussing how they altered the cities of America and the African-American community."
Her work also appears in The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race.
“The revolution had come too late for him. He was in his mid-forties when the Civil Rights Act was signed and close to fifty when its effects were truly felt.
He did not begrudge the younger generation their opportunities. He only wished that more of them, his own children, in particular, recognized their good fortune, the price that had been paid for it, and made the most of it. He was proud to have lived to see the change take place.
He wasn't judging anyone and accepted the fact that history had come too late for him to make much use of all the things that were now opening up. But he couldn't understand why some of the young people couldn't see it. Maybe you had to live through the worst of times to recognize the best of times when they came to you. Maybe that was just the way it was with people.” (from The Warmth of Other Suns)
“Over the decades, perhaps the wrong questions have been asked about the Great Migration. Perhaps it is not a question of whether the migrants brought good or ill to the cities they fled to or were pushed or pulled to their destinations, but a question of how they summoned the courage to leave in the first place or how they found the will to press beyond the forces against them and the faith in a country that had rejected them for so long. By their actions, they did not dream the American Dream, they willed it into being by a definition of their own choosing. They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few others recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts.” (The Warmth of Other Suns)