CBR10Bingo – Underrepresented
I chose this book for “Underrepresented” more because of the content than the specific author. In this book, Wilkerson tells a narrative history of the Great Migration through a few different interwoven stories of participants in the movement collected through interviews, public records, and plenty of other documents and evidence.
The Great Migration in simple terms is the mass migration of Southern African Americans to northern and western cities in the US primarily from about 1910-1950 or so. Wilkerson treats the migration less like a migration and more more like an immigration movement where the various groups had to not only move, but become more acclimated to a very different setting, regional culture, and completely different experience within the US. Because the US is gigantic, there’s the ability to move within its contiguous borders up several thousand miles.
So the book splits its time not only among a few different storylines, each kind of showing different kinds of stories such as class-related, regional-related stories. So there’s one character who starts as a train porter and another that is a doctor. These different kinds of stories help to show the variety of experiences within the movement. In addition, these different stories help to show the broader history of the movement. For example, while most people who participated in the movement were from the South, it would not be true that moving to the North erased racism from their experience in life, even if it’s better or different.
Over all, this book is very good and very interesting. It’s long and a bit of a slog at times because it covers so much material for such a long time. It’s a very rewarding book. Probably the best feature is thinking through racism in America as dividing the country into distinct cultures, but more importantly distinct castes.