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Isabel Wilkerson      

Pulitzer Prize Winner and Author of the Critically Acclaimed Best-Seller "The Warmth of Other Suns"

Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is author of The Warmth of Other Suns, the New York Times bestseller that tells the true story of three people who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Wilkerson is a gifted and passionate speaker who has addressed the topics of migration, social justice, urban affairs, and 20th century history at more than 100 universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS’s 60 Minutes, PBS’s Charlie Rose, NPR’s Fresh Air, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and others.

The Warmth of Other Suns became a New York Times and national bestseller. It was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times‘ 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year, and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, among others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times Magazine named The Warmth of Other Suns to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting in the history of American journalism. She has lectured on narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and has served as professor of journalism at Princeton University, Emory University and Boston University. Her work has garnered seven honorary degrees, most recently from Bates College and Southern Methodist University.

Wilkerson spent 15 years working on The Warmth of Other Suns, interviewing more than 1,200 people to tell what she calls one of the greatest underreported stories of the 20th Century.

Speech Topics


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

The Great Migration: The Road from Civil War to Civil Rights

Wanting Something Better: The Universality of Migration

In the Shadow of Jim Crow: The Great Migration and the Making of Modern America

The Intimate Epic: A Humanistic Approach to History and Storytelling

Migration, Reinvention and the Search for Identity in the American Narrative

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