A book about three hopeful African Americans who migrated from the South in search of better lives is the center of the 2012 Community Reading Project at Grand Valley.
The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson, will be the focus of classroom and small group discussions on campus next year. Susan Mendoza, director of Undergraduate Research and Integrative Learning, said the book was chosen, in part, because its narrative stories represent the 6 million people who moved from the South to the North or West, searching for better futures.
Wilkerson, who spent much of her career at the New York Times' Chicago bureau, won the Pulitzer Prize for individual reporting for her coverage of the 1993 Midwestern floods and a young boy who was responsible for his four siblings. She was the first African American woman to receive the writing award.
For Warmth of Other Suns, she interviewed 1,200 people and searched archives to tell the story of the relocation of an entire people. It is Wilkerson’s first book, published in 2010. She is currently professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University.
Wilkerson will visit West Michigan March 20-21 for presentations on campus and at Herrick District Library in Holland.
Mendoza said book club kits for student groups, faculty and staff members, will be available at Zumberge Library in October. The Community Reading Project now in its seventh year, is sponsored by the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, University Libraries and University Bookstores.