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Pulitzer Prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson Will Discuss “Great Migration” Feb. 7 at U of M

For release: January 24, 2013
For press information, contact Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, 901-678-2520

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Isabel Wilkerson will visit the University of Memphis to explore one of the great underreported stories of 20th century American history: the “Great Migration” of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. Wilkerson will deliver her talk, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” Feb. 7 in the Michael D. Rose Theatre.

A reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:30. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Zach Curlin garage adjacent to the Rose Theatre.

Wilkerson’s book, The Warmth of Other Suns, tells the story of three individuals who made the journey, of the forces that compelled them to leave, and of the many other people – famous and not so famous – who went as far as they could to realize the American Dream.

A former correspondent for the New York Times, Wilkerson was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. The Warmth of Other Suns is the product of more than 1,200 interviews conducted over 15 years. The book has won more than 10 major literary prizes, including the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Nonfiction, and has been named to more than 30 periodicals’ lists for “Best Books of the Year.”

The Belle McWilliams Lecture in America History is sponsored by the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities. It is made possible by the Department of History, the Program in African and African-American Studies, the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, the Department of English, the Center for Research on Women, the Department of Journalism, and Facing History and Ourselves.

For more information on this event or any of the programs of the Marcus Orr Center, visit or contact its director, Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, at 901-678-2520 or

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