I finished this book yesterday and find it hard to put into words the book’s effect on me. Still I tried, and here is the review I posted on Goodreads.
An excellent book that I did not ever want to put down. The author’s writing and storytelling is superb, and the information she shares is like no other that I’ve read on this topic.
The book details — in both hopeful and heartbreaking narrative — the migration of black citizens who left the South to the North and West, in search of a better life. Ms. Wilkerson shares the experience powerfully through the lives of three migrants. Several passages moved me to tears, and I’ll never forget her telling of Robert’s sleepless drive to California in the mid-1950s — sleepless because he could not get a motel room. As I read it, I thought of my father growing up in Arkansas and his family’s move to California. I thought of our cross-country drive — Dad, Mom, me, and four siblings — from Ohio to California in 1961. This book gave me a unique look at the awful things my parents must have encountered but never talked about. And with that, I’ve raised the respect level I have for my parents because of what they and my other relatives chose to endure for the sake of their children.
I do hope this book is on high school and college required reading lists.
(I gave the book 5 stars, a rating that I rarely give.)