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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of…

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (edition 2010)

by Isabel Wilkerson

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1,876933,680 (4.41)307
Title:The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Authors:Isabel Wilkerson
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 640 pages
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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 93 (next | show all)
Thank you Isabel
Your well written documentation of our history should be mandatory reading in every school, beginning in the sixth grade. Had I known more about my fore-family's struggle to carve a life for us in the north, I'm certain that I would have been more sensitive to their habitual need to spend every holiday amongst family, while I grumbled about amusement parks and movies.
You have given voice to the dreams (dead or fruitful) and determination that has afforded myself and others like me to live our own impossible dreams. My father would say "You live in the greatest country in the world- you can do or be anything."
Not only did he and my mother believe it, they proved it and set an example of genuine success and leadership. My very own story was told within your pages.
Special thanks to my Aunt Ruthie-Mae, who blazed the trail that would emerge a Chef, a Dentist, a Stock Analyst, a Lieutenant Colonel: USAF, an Actress, a Comedian, a CPA, a Journalist, an LPN, a First Responder, a CPFT, a Civil Engineer, countless Homemakers, Entrepreneurs and Professionals in every walk of life.
Thank you again, for helping me to understand my parents and their choices with a richer and deeper respect than ever before...SMILE!!! ( )
1 vote Madamxtra | Oct 12, 2016 |
The amount of research that went into this book is very impressive, and the results are engaging and thought provoking. I enjoyed the oral history approach, which helped the migration come alive. My only criticism is that the narrative sometimes slips into a dissertation and repeats itself in places. A little tightening could have turned this really good book into a really great book. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
I feel enlightened about so many things after reading this. the story - which i knew nothing about - of this great migration informs me about the struggle for lgbt etc. rights, the struggle for women's rights, and finally schooled me about what white privilege means. a deeply important book, necessary in these times. ( )
  zenhead | Aug 28, 2016 |
gah! okay -- so this book is another example of a time i would love to have various criteria upon which to rate our readings. there is absolutely no doubt wilkerson's book is an important, necessary, and urgently relevant book. subject matter alone, this is a 5-star book. i was less taken, though, with the style of the writing -- i found it really repetitive. unnecessarily so, and hugely distracting for how i read anyhow, which is to focus on one book at a time and read through until i finish. i can see how the repetitions or 'refreshers' on backstory could help if you are a reader who dips in and out, taking long pauses in between your reading sessions. but if you don't read that way, you may find this aspect of the book frustrating too. so for me, i am around 2 to 2 ½-stars on writing/structure. i just wish the flow of the read had gone much more smoothly for me.

i do feel wilkerson did a tremendous job harnessing her incredible wealth of research. and by focusing her migration stories on three people, it truly did help give voice, depth, and emotion to the plights and circumstances so many southern black americans were fighting through. these sections of the book - featuring the stories of ida mae, george, and robert (pershing) - were captivating, and their personal strengths hugely admirable. the breadth of history covered in this book was interesting to revisit, and wilkerson certainly brought it vividly to life. i also loved the studies and statistics wilkerson included in her work, helping to disprove so many wrongly held beliefs about southern black americans, and their migrations to the north and west. wilkerson was very clever in focusing on the longstanding caste system existing in america, and in pointing out how southern black migrants had so very much in common with immigrants arriving in america from other countries. assimilation (it's a melting pot, after all) and acceptance were difficult struggles and for many never truly achieved, or achieved only on the surface. the inner emotional struggles - having one foot in each of two places; never feeling the peace of 'home' - were lifelong for many. the consequences of slavery are still a shameful and horrific legacy in the U.S. so many generations later, people still fight to exist equally, freely, and without fear.

for many reasons, wilkerson's book should be required reading. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jul 16, 2016 |
Amazingly researched and written history of the African-American/black migration from the south to the cities of the north, midwest, and west. Wilkerson is a Pulitzer-winning journalist, and journalists doing history usually drives me crazy. But she knows her stuff, can research, and can write--and her journalism background is undoubtedly useful for doing good oral history.

Wilkerson follows 3 black adults who left the south for somewhat different reasons (to escape to safety after his activism was well known, to achieve his dreams of being a top doctor, and to escape a life of sharecropping), in different decades, from different places, and for different destinations. The three did not know each other and came from fairly different backgrounds (educated but trapped in menial work, well educated, and sharecroppers)--but all lived under Jim Crow and had dreams for themselves and their children.

This book should be required reading for all Americans. It is moving, depressing, hopeful, and more--all at the same time. And it explains a lot of things Americans see every day--from segregated neighborhoods to crowded southern restaurants. ( )
  Dreesie | Jun 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Wilkersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobinReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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