The Warmth Of Other Suns is the second book I have read from this Author. The other was caste, and the review(s) are on this blog; I did two of them.
The author wrote this book; first, it is a fantastic read and tells the migration from the south to northern cities post world war one. The slow trickle of Black people out of the repressive south started around 1890 and gained steam just after World War One. The migration increased every year until 1970, which is considered the end of the migration.
This part of our history must be taught in all history classes; it shaped the structure of the country. The author presents an excellent historical reference for this migration, mostly due to getting away from the southern oppression and the Jim Crowe laws and better opportunities for jobs. There were many reasons why some people left, and some stayed, but there is no denying how it shaped our country and the cities the people moved to for a new beginning.
What is contrary to the beliefs of this migration, the research found the Black people that moved north had a better education than the blacks in the north, and better if not equally educated to working-class whites. They were more likely to have better, stable families and willing to work any jobs.
Even with the fact people left the south and the oppression for the north, they still found different kinds of oppression. There were no black and white section, they were not kept out of establishments, but many people felt they were coming to steal jobs, which was not valid. These issues also let to riots in these growing cities. They were forced to pay more for housing in some of the worst housing units in the town and led to whole segregated sections of cities.
The author focused on three people and their move out of the deep south to their northern and western migration endpoints. The story coved their lives over 50+ years, and all they endured. It was interesting to learn where in the south you came from had a massive influence on where you migrated to. This was based on the rail lines and their destinations. The story of these families took place in Mississippi, Lousiana, and Florida. The migration points being Illinois and Wisconsin, California, and New York. Many other sections of the Midwest and east coast, but these were the major destinations.
I would highly recommend both books, even though some of what you read can be troubling, it is our history and must be understood if you want to know where we are. The author does a tremendous job writing a compelling story that is easy to read, something you don’t want to put down. It is an excellent story of the human spirit and the American dream, ultimately showing how everybody wants something better for yourself and your family.