January Series Preview: Journalist Isabel Wilkerson

When I assign stories to our top writers here at Chimes, I usually tell them to get three or four solid sources – but could you imagine interviewing 1,200 people for a story?

That’s how Isabel Wilkerson spent 15 years preparing to write her book “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the story of the migration of almost 6 million people from the southern United States to cities in the north and west between 1915 and 1970.

“There is no one in America who has not been affected by this great migration,” explained Kristi Potter, director of the January Series. “I learned so much history reading this book. She is a great storyteller and is going to be excellent.”

The book became a New York Times bestseller and won a host of awards, including being named to best of the year lists by Amazon, The Economist, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.

Before writing her book, Wilkerson was the Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times, where she became the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Wilkerson is the first speaker in the 2014 January Series on Wednesday, paving the way for former senator Olympia Snowe and Christian author Bob Goff.

“When asked which speaker this year is my favorite, I can’t pick just one,” said Potter. “But I can say that the first three speakers are really going to start us out in a powerful way. Don’t miss the first three days.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson will present “The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” at the January Series at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8 in the Covenant Fine Arts Center.