A couple of nights ago, I was privileged to hear Isabel Wilkerson speak at Oakland’s African American Museum and Library. You may know that she is the author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the epic telling of the Great Migration, whereby some half of America’s blacks left the South and resettled in the North and the West.
(If you haven’t read it, do so. It’s a wonderful read, easily he best book I’ve read in ages.)
It is about history, not genealogy; but genealogy is history writ small, and so this grand history — made digestible by narrowing down to three people on three paths — is the history of many of us. It *is* our history.
Our individual histories are just that: individual. But the collective triumphed Wednesday: as many of us claimed Texas or Louisiana as home; as we laughed at and applauded all we had in common.