Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-seller author Isabel Wilkerson will speak at the University of Louisville March 2 about African-Americans’ migration from the South in the 1900s.
Her free, public talk, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101, Strickler Hall, is sponsored by UofL’s Pan-African studies department and the Center on Race and Inequality as well as the Louisville Urban League. There will be a book-signing event afterward.
Her best-selling book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” is the selection for One Book Louisville, a community reading program started by the Louisville Urban League and supported by the Louisville Free Public Library.
Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,200 people during 15 years to tell the stories of the 1915-1970 migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North and West in her book, an epic told through three main characters. Its many awards include the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and it was named one of the year’s best books by The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and more than a dozen other publications.
Wilkerson, former national correspondent and Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times, is the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in American journalism and the first black American to win for individual reporting. Besides her 1994 Pulitzer for feature writing, she won the George Polk Award for her coverage of the Midwest as well as a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship. The National Association of Black Journalists named her Journalist of the Year in 1994.
She has been a journalism professor at Boston, Princeton and Emory universities. She has conducted Nieman Foundation narrative writing seminars at Harvard University and lectured at universities, newspapers and writing workshops throughout the United States.