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Go to the doctor and they won’t begin to treat you without taking your history — and not just yours, but that of your parents and grandparents before you. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson points this out as she reflects on her epic work of narrative nonfiction, The Warmth of Other Suns. She’s immersed herself in the stories of the Great Migration, the movement of six million African Americans to northern U.S. cities in the 20th century. The book is a carrier of histories and truths that help make sense of human and social challenges at the heart of our life together now.

Isabel Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2016 “for championing the stories of an unsung history.” Her book The Warmth of Other Suns won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, comes out in August 2020.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org

This show originally aired in November, 2016.

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