A powerful illustrated history of the Great Migration and its sweeping impact on Black and American culture, from Reconstruction to the rise of hip hop.
Over the course of six decades, an unprecedented wave of Black Americans left the South and spread across the nation in search of a better life--a migration that sparked stunning demographic and cultural changes in twentieth-century America. Through gripping and accessible historical narrative paired with illustrations, author and activist Blair Imani examines the largely overlooked impact of The Great Migration and how it affected--and continues to affect--Black identity and America as a whole.
Making Our Way Home explores issues like voting rights, domestic terrorism, discrimination, and segregation alongside the flourishing of arts and culture, activism, and civil rights. Imani shows how these influences shaped America's workforce and wealth distribution by featuring the stories of notable people and events, relevant data, and family histories. The experiences of prominent figures such as James Baldwin, Fannie Lou Hamer, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), Ella Baker, and others are woven into the larger historical and cultural narratives of the Great Migration to create a truly singular record of this powerful journey.
“Blair Imani enlivens African American history for a new generation with her dynamic and thoughtful account of African American migration and resilience.”—Jamia Wilson, executive director and publisher of Feminist Press
“In this painstakingly crafted and researched tome, the beauty and purpose of the Great Migration comes alive in ways that reawaken our connection to our community. This is definitely one to add to your library of thoughtful, thought-provoking history books.”—Vanessa De Luca, editor-in-chief at Zora magazine by Medium
“Making Our Way Home takes you on a riveting journey through the history of African American migration. Blair Imani crafts a poignant narrative that is an accessible, enjoyable, and valuable contribution to our people’s history. The colorful imagery, lesser-known moments, and powerful statements on our tenacity and fortitude come together in a beautiful work of art.”—Feminista Jones, activist and author of Reclaiming Our Space
“Lively, highly readable, and beautifully illustrated, Making Our Way Home is a wonderful primer on the Great Migration and African American life between 1910 and 1979.”—Dr. Stephen Finley, director of African and African American Studies at Louisiana State University
“There’s something revolutionary about recounting our history, especially since traditional narratives often reflect only a sliver of the full Black American experience. But in the tradition of African griots, Making Our Way Home carries on the legacy of our fore-parents, informing new generations about how we got to where we are, and how America—and the world—was transformed in the process.”—Tre’vell Anderson, director of culture and entertainment at Out magazine
“The massive amount of information in Making Our Way Home might intimidate all but the most avid history student, but the captivating illustrations give an almost graphic novel feel to the book, something that should intrigue even readers reluctant to tackle six decades of history.”—Common Sense Media
“The imagery for this new book . . . gives readers a broad look at a decades-long span of time that covers voting rights, Reconstruction, Motown and even the rise of hip-hop.”—The Detroit News
“Beautifully illustrated by Rachelle Baker, this history reminds us how integral Black Americans’ humanity has always been to this nation’s progress.”—Read It Forward
“With a bibliography, index, and glossary for people, terms, and events, this is both an important corrective to whitewashed U.S. history and an excellent jumping-off point for further inquiry.”—Booklist
About the Author:
Blair Imani is a critically acclaimed historian, author, educator, and influencer. The New York Times praised her unique ability to create “progressive lessons with vibrant visuals and a perky, quirky delivery.” Her viral microlearning series Smarter In Seconds demonstrates her signature style of making abstract concepts more concrete in a well-researched, well-presented, and concise manner. She is the author of Read This to Get Smarter about Race, Class, Gender, Disability, and More; Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream; and Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History. Her work centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community. As an educator and influencer, semi-retired organizer, and public speaker, Blair Imani is dedicated to making the world a better place and amplifying the voices and work of those fighting the good fight.