Her free, public talk at 6 p.m. in Speed Art Museum, 2035 S. Third St., is the Minx Auerbach lecture in women’s and gender studies. The women’s and gender studies department sponsors the annual event as a feature of Women’s History Month. There will be a reception and book-signing afterward.
Her topic stems from her recently published book “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” for which she interviewed more than 1,200 people during 15 years to tell the stories of the 1915-1970 migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North and West.
Wilkerson, former national correspondent and Chicago bureau chief at The New York Times, is the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in American journalism and the first black American to win for individual reporting. Besides her 1994 Pulitzer for feature writing, she won the George Polk Award for her coverage of the Midwest and a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship. The National Association of Black Journalists named her Journalist of the Year in 1994.
She now is a journalism professor and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University after having served as a journalism professor at Princeton and Emory universities. She has conducted Nieman Foundation narrative writing seminars at Harvard University and lectured at universities, newspapers and writing workshops throughout the United States.