Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots

Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by ELLE, Buzzfeed, Esquire, Bitch Media, Good Housekeeping, Electric Literature, Parade and BookRiot 

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

From the acclaimed cultural critic and New York Times bestselling 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, photos, 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.


Morgan Jerkins is a senior editor at Medium’s ZORA magazine. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker, Vogue, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Elle, Rolling StoneLenny Letter, and BuzzFeed, among many other outlets. She lives in New York.

Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now

ISBN: 9780062873040

ISBN-10: 9780062873040

Publisher: Harper

Pages: 304

Language: English

Categories

Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies

History / African American

Political Science / Civil Rights

More by Morgan Jerkins

  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    Caul Baby: A Novel Cover Image
  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    The Living Is Easy Cover Image
  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
  • Wandering in Strange Lands Lib/E: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
  • Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
  • Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
  • There Is Confusion (Modern Library Torchbearers) Cover Image
  • This Will Be My Undoing Lib/E: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America Cover Image
  • This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America Cover Image