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Author Speaks on Six Million Blacks Who Migrated From American South

Michel Martin sits onstage with author Isabel Wilkerson, a large poster of Wilkerson's book titled "The Warmth of Other Suns" sits on a stand between them.

November 17, 2015 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson came to Georgetown this past Friday to converse with NPR correspondent Michel Martin.

Wilkerson is the author of the national bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, which focuses on three young African Americans who left the American South during different decades of the 20th Century.

The individuals were three of the six million African Americans who migrated from the South to the North and other areas in the country between 1915 and 1970.

“The [Great Migration] was a defection,” Wilkerson said, “a seeking of asylum within the borders of one’s own country.”

“The only thing I find encouraging is the prospect of empathy,” she added. “When you understand someone … then you can begin to see where alliances are and where solutions can be.”