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The warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The warmth of Other Suns (edition 2010)

by Isabel Wilkerson

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1,646804,377 (4.39)284
Title:The warmth of Other Suns
Authors:Isabel Wilkerson
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: Advance Reader's Copy, Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Great Migration, United States, history, Jim Crow, South, 20th century, African Americans, DeacsRead, book club, ebook, NOOK, read.2012

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Excellent book about the Jim Crow south and the Great Migration from it that traces the stories of three people who left the south - one to work as a train porter, another to the cold streets of Chicago, and a third a flamboyant and successful physician who never forgot the humiliations of white supremacy in the deep south. Hard to put down, terrifically well researched.
  bfister | Nov 8, 2015 |
Review to come... ( )
  irisper012106 | Nov 1, 2015 |
Excellent - one of the best works of American history I have read. The authors method of telling the story of this important part of the African-American story in the USA - through the eyes and life experiences of her three primary subjects - made the entire book come alive, be more "real", and caused it to have more emotional impact. I am glad to have read this. ( )
  labdaddy4 | Oct 21, 2015 |
Deeply moving history of the post-World War I mass migration of African Americans from the deep South to northern and western cities where they expected to find better lives. The author focuses on three individuals and their families. While they escaped the brutal violence and legally-mandated segregation they had grown up with, they found themselves in a new world that was less than idyllic. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Oct 13, 2015 |
I'm late to Isabel Wilkerson's Pulitzer Prize party, the epic history of a time period that changed the lives of everyone in America. The structure has the compelling stories of three migrants - one to Chicago, one to Los Angeles, one to New York - as well as an overview of the entire 60 year exodus from South to North. And Jim Crow is ever present - in person in the southern states and barely disguised in the industrial North.

Another shining attribute is the book's memorable quotes from Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston.

Read this and you've got another weapon to thrust at those ignorant racists who say "White people were oppressed too. Black people should just get over it."

It is such a mandatory read that I'm not going to describe, just quote:

"It is the culminations of all these personal discriminations which create the color bar in the North, and, for the Negro, causes unusually sever unemployment, crowded housing conditions, crime, and vice. About this social process, the ordinary white Northerner keeps sublimely ignorant and unconcerned" - Gunnar Myrdal

"The people of the Great Migration had farther to climb because they started off at the lowest rung wherever they went."

"On August 14, 1997, Barack Obama makes an appearance at Ida Mae's beat meeting...that night, no one in the room could have imagined that they had just seen the man who would become the first black president of the United States."

"...whether it was the pull of the North or the push of the South."

"They were not immigrants. The South may have acted like a different country and been proud of it, but it was a part of the United States, and anyone born there was an American." ( )
  froxgirl | Aug 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up: you’ll not only learn a lot about this underappreciated part of recent America history (I see its remnants about me every day in Chicago, since I live on the South Side, perhaps the most famous destination of the Migration), but also become deeply involved in the lives of Ida Mae, George, and Robert. The ending is poignant and bittersweet, and will make you both proud of the migrants and sad about their fate. The writing is quite good (Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism—the first black woman to do so—for her work at The New York Times), and the scholarship, though thorough, is worn lightly. (The book was 15 years in the making and Wilkerson interviewed over 1200 people.) If there’s one flaw—and it’s a small one—the writing is occasionally awkward and more than occasionally repetitious, with the same facts repeated in different places. But that’s a trifle that should by no means put you off.
Wilkerson intersperses historical detail of the broader movement and the sparks that set off the civil rights era; challenging racial restrictions in the North and South; and the changing dynamics of race, class, geography, politics, and economics. A sweeping and stunning look at a watershed event in U.S. history.
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Vanessa Bush (Sep 15, 2010)
Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, uses the journeys of three of them-a Mississippi sharecropper, a Louisiana doctor, and a Florida laborer--to etch an indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in 20th-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely. A
added by sduff222 | editEntertainment Weekly, Tina Jordan (Sep 10, 2010)
Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly
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I was leaving the South
To fling myself into the unknown. . . .
I was taking a part of the South
To transplant in alien soil,
To see if it could grow differently.
If it could drink of new and cool rains,
Bend in strange winds,
Respond to the warmth of other suns
And, perhaps, to bloom.

- Richard Wright
To my mother and
to the memory of my father,
whose migration made me possible,
and to the millions of others like them
who dared to act upon their dreams.
First words
The night clouds were closing in on the salt licks east of the oxbow lakes along the folds in the earth beyond the Yalobusha River.
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.… (more)

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