Morgan Jerkins on Exposing History’s Omissions

August 7, 2020

At Lit Hub, Morgan Jerkins reflects on the importance of researching and telling her family’s story, as seen in her new book, Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots. “The closer I moved towards my subjects and their homelands, the more intimate the book became,” Jerkins writes. “The more I researched, the more I knew what was at stake. I knew methodological data was not enough. To detail Black living and death, I needed a gumbo of tools: journals, articles, scholarly interviews, oral history, and personal history. I didn’t ignore the omissions—I exposed them. I confessed my frustration and I spoke of the foundation for these omissions. Then I kept going because I had to.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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