Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson presents Carleton’s opening convocation

September 10, 2018

Celebrating the opening of the 2018-19 academic year, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson will present Carleton College’s opening convocation on Monday, September 10 at 3 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. In college tradition, the assembly will be preceded by Carleton’s academic procession, including all current and emeriti faculty.

Professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University, Wilkerson is the author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” (Random House, 2010). Devoting 15 years to the research and writing of this book, Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,200 people to unearth archival works and gather the voices of the famous and the unknown to tell the epic story of the Great Migration, one of the biggest underreported stories of the 20th Century and one of the largest migrations in American history.

From 1915 to 1970, six million African Americans fled the Jim Crow South in what became one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. It changed the country, North and South. It brought us John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Bill Russell, Motown, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama—all children or grandchildren of the Great Migration. It changed the social, cultural and political landscape of the United States, with consequences that persist to the current day.

“The Warmth of Other Suns” was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, winning the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors, and made national news when President Barack Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times named “The Warmth of Other Suns” to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time. In 2016, President Obama awarded Wilkerson the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."

In 1994 Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of the New York Times, 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. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS' "60 Minutes," NPR's "Fresh Air" and PBS' "NewsHour" and "The Charlie Rose Show." She had taught at Princeton University, Emory University and Boston University and has spoken at more than 100 universities in the United States and in Europe. 

More at www.isabelwilkerson.com.

This event is sponsored by Carleton College Convocations. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located at First and College Streets in Northfield.