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Wandering in Strange Lands

A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots
Narrated by: Morgan Jerkins
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: History, Americas

Non-member price: $38.13

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Publisher's Summary

One of Buzzfeed's 24 New Books We Couldn’t Put Down 

“One of the smartest young writers of her generation.” (Book Riot)

From the acclaimed cultural critic and New York Times best-selling author of This Will Be My Undoing - a writer whom Roxane Gay has hailed as “a force to be reckoned with” - comes this powerful story of her journey to understand her Northern and Southern roots, the Great Migration, and the displacement of black people across America.

Between 1916 and 1970, six million black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest in a movement known as the Great Migration. But while this event transformed the complexion of America and provided black people with new economic opportunities, it also disconnected them from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity, argues Morgan Jerkins. 

In this fascinating and deeply personal exploration, she recreates her ancestors’ journeys across America, following the migratory routes they took from Georgia and South Carolina to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California. Following in their footsteps, Jerkins seeks to understand not only her own past, but the lineage of an entire group of people who have been displaced, disenfranchised, and disrespected throughout our history. Through interviews and hundreds of pages of transcription, Jerkins braids the loose threads of her family’s oral histories, which she was able to trace back 300 years, with the insights and recollections of black people she met along the way - the tissue of black myths, customs, and blood that connect the bones of American history....

Incisive and illuminating, Wandering in Strange Lands is a timely and enthralling look at America’s past and present, one family’s legacy, and a young black woman’s life, filtered through her sharp and curious eyes. 

©2020 Morgan Jerkins (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Will W.
  • 09-08-2020

I love Morgan

If I had a daughter I wish her to possesses the tenacity and finesse of Morgan. I read her first book and walked away thinking how brilliant and brave to share so much. Now I’m opened mouthed in awe at the length to which she will go to unearth her/our truth Her perspectives on events I have lived through or witnessed first hand helped me see with fresher eyes. Examine with a wiser heart and hope renewed faith that the post Civil Rights Era is in more than capable hands. Morgan you are my /our daughter warrior and we are comfortable with you. Thanks for this book. You are at this moment and in moments to come among the greats.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-09-2020

Eye-opener

I heard about this book on Nat'l Public Radio, wanting to hear the whole story. As I listened, I felt like I was going right along with the writer to find out about her heritage; her descriptions of her family's feelings about their past, the places she went to do her research, and what she found out each of the different cultures she encountered was all SO eye-opening. I hope this book will be added to general curriculum for schools, from Jr. High through college-level. If Americans were more exposed to this meaningful way of presenting a family's history, we might, at last, be able to move forward into a society where all lives matter.

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  • Sonya
  • 24-08-2020

She’s Done It Again!

This young lady is so intelligent and so insightful. I’m a 60 y/o AA women. I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned from both books by this young lady who is not even 30 years old yet. Her future as a writer is bright. Thanks for sharing your family’s story.

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  • Ardee
  • 22-08-2020

Not Just Black History -- It's All Of Our History

I have done a lot of reading this summer to grow my understanding of racism and its history here in our nation, and to unearth prejudices that I may still carry. Jerkin's book, which she's so eloquently narrates, is the best I've read this summer. While I don't know that it's what she set out to do, her story will help me better articulate the case for reparations with my white community. Powerful and important.