“When the time had come, Ida Mae and little James and Velma and all that they could carry were loaded into a brother-in-law’s truck, and the three of them went to meet Ida Mae’s husband at the train depot in Okolona for the night ride out of the bottomland.”
Just last year, I was helping my middle schooler study for his social studies test. One of the questions was about The Great Migration. Quite frankly, I had never heard that term before. There was no question that black Americans left the South at certain times in history and tried to better their lives in the North. I just hadn’t been aware that it could be charted – that it was actually a phenomenon that ended in the 1970’s. They didn’t teach us about The Great Migration while I was attending school, probably because it was still going on or had recently ended.
Isabel Wilkerson’s epic work, The Warmth of Other Suns, is an attempt to describe why blacks left the south, what attracted them to the north, and what they found when they arrived. Wilkerson did this by conducting over 1,000 interviews, and by focusing on three personal accounts, in a narrative that is as engrossing as it is educational. This was a wonderful and enlightening work. Bravo!
4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2010
Amazon Book Preview of The Warmth Of Other Suns