The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
A little on the long side (I just skimmed the last few chapters) but an incredibly educational view of our country less than one hundred years ago. I think every American should be aware of how blacks were treated in our country, and the incredible lengths they had to go to make a different life for themselves. I was educated, aghast, and interested all in one, and definitely recommend this book. While there were some difficult things to read, generally, it was simply a grand education into life in the South for blacks and what it meant to leave your home for a better life in the North.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, Boston Globe, Newsday, Salon and many others
In a story of hope and longing, three young people set out from the American South during different decades of the 20th Century en route to the North and West in search of what the novelist Richard Wright called "the warmth of other suns."
Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster are among the six million African-Americans who fled the South during what would become known as the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. This book interweaves their stories and those of others who made the journey with the larger forces and inner motivations that compelled them to flee, and with the challenges they confronted upon arrival in the New World.