A review by thechanelmuse
Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins


From the title alone, I knew this book was going to feel familiar. Morgan Jerkins' familial journey through Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California made me think of my own. I am the grand daughter of grandparents who headed to New York during the Great Migration by way of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina stretching back to Virginia.

Being a Black American is not only a layered identity with interwoven lineage and rich, connected cultures throughout the upper and deep South; it's a complex one when you tie in the umpteenth times we've been reclassified for centuries on our ancestral land, as well as being questioned for who we are, not fully understood for who we are, and the erasure (ethnocide) of who we are, especially through US documents and laws.

I've been working on my genealogy for well over 10 years. Wandering in Strange Lands doesn't just take me back to that first day of curiosity and confirmation while uncovering the paper trail of my ancestors (that goes back to the 1500s on a few lines), it's an everyday feeling the more I continue to uncover. It'll never dissipate, especially being able to unearth the identity of ancestors whose names haven't been said for hundreds of years.