The Warmth of Other Suns is a nonfiction book that tells the story of the Great Migration, which occurred between 1916 and 1970. Millions of African Americans moved from rural areas in the South to more urban areas in the North, Midwest, and West due to ongoing segregation and racism. The book sheds light on one of the most important demographic upheavals in American history and shows just how dramatically American culture was changed by this migration.
The main themes of the book are segregation and the caste system, the mirage of equality, and the American dream. The Southern Black migrants escaping the South idealized the Northern cities to which they were journeying. They imagined these cities would be meccas of equality, polar opposites of the caste-ridden South. However, the reality was far more complex. Racial hatred was a feature of the North, too.
Through three separate first-hand accounts of black Americans, Wilkerson brings us an intimate look at the fears, hopes, and dreams they had. The book teaches many important lessons about many aspects of life, including hope, courage, and hard work – even in the face of continuing, systemic racism.
What I Liked
This book is one of my favorite history books that I’ve ever read. I love everything about it. I love the fact that it exists, how it’s structured, the first-hand accounts, the details, pacing – everything. It’s a massive part of American history that needs to be part of every curriculum
What I Did Not Like
Nothing – I wouldn’t change a thing.