[Poetry Friday] Ode to Migrants Everywhere

Myra here.

Thank you to Bridget @ Wee Words For Wee Ones for hosting this week.


The Great Migration: Journey To The North [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Eloise Greenfield Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Published by Harper Collins (2010).
ISBN: 0061259217 (ISBN13: 9780061259210). Literary Award: Coretta Scott King Book Award for Author Honor (2012). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

I have been slowly going through Coretta Scott King Honor books from 2010-2020 for a research project that I am heading here in the UAE, which is how I learned about this title. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the historical narrative of the great migration was told through poems, personalizing the experience, rendering it greater intimacy and power.


In the Author’s Note at the start of the book, Eloise Greenfield provided the historical context of this movement during this period:

Between 1915 and 1930, more than a million African Americans left their homes in the South, the southern part of the United States, and moved to the North. This movement was named the ‘Great Migration.’

I am grateful to picturebooks such as this which provides me a snapshot of the history of the United States in a way that truly makes it come alive. This is keenly felt with Eloise Greenfield mentioning how she was also a part of The Great Migration when her family moved from North Carolina to Washington DC in 1929 when she was only three months old. The jacketflap of the book also indicated how the illustrator, Jan Spivey Gilchrist’s parents made the same movement during this time.

For my Poetry Friday offering, I am sharing Question below as it truly resonated with me – especially since my family and I have essentially been doing this for the past 13 years now, when we moved from the Philippines to Singapore in 2008 and from Singapore to UAE in 2019. Add the fact that husband and I will soon be sending our daughter off to study overseas for college. Without knowing this poem, I realize that this has been our mantra years ago, and will continue to be our mantra in the coming years ahead. This is for im/migrants everywhere in the world.


#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 33 out of target 100

May 7, 2021 at 06:30AM Myra Garces-Bacsal