They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done. They left. (pg 15)–Warmth of Other Suns.
Reading like a great novel, this epic work of history chronicles America’s Great Migration, focusing particularly, but not exclusively on the lives of three participants who migrated from three different areas of the South to three different Northern cities in three different decades: Ida Mae Gladney in 1937, who left Mississippi for Chicago; George Starling in 1945, who left Florida for Harlem; Robert Foster in 1953, who left Louisiana.
Yet there are so many other captivating stories. What is most important about this volume is that it inspires readers to ask our elders to speak of our families’ stories: the whys, the hows, the whens, and the wheres of their leavings. What did they leave behind? What did they take with them? What did they face upon arrival in those northern or western cities? When and why did they return to land of their birth; did they return only to visit or to stay? So many stories, so many stories that we, their descendants need to hear. How ingenious!
Reviewed by Imani Literary Group, Angela Reid
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
ISBN-10: 0679763880 | ISBN-13: 978-0679763888
About the Author Isabel Wilkerson
Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the New York Times best-seller that tells the true story of three people who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
The book was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and over a dozen others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011.
The Great Migration was one of the biggest under-reported stories of the 20th Century. It lasted from 1915 to 1970, involved six million people and was one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. It changed the country, North and South. It brought us John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Bill Russell, Motown, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama — all children or grandchildren of the Great Migration. It changed the cultural and political landscape of the United States, exerting pressure on the South to change and paving the way toward equal rights for the lowest caste people in the country.
Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “The PBS News Hour,” CBS “60 Minutes,” NBC “Nightly News,” MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the BBC and others. She has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as Cox Professor of Journalism at Emory University and as Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University.
Follow Isabel Wilkerson on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Isabel-Wilkerson/140162739346559