☯Emily needs to protest again's Reviews > The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
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's review
Sep 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: history
Read from September 19 to October 29, 2011

This is the story of the migration of blacks from the South to the North and West of the United States. For over 60 years, from World War I to the early 1970's, a steady stream of people left the Jim Crow South to seek freedom in the northern and western cities. The author has traced the story of three different people who left the South during three different decades and going to three different cities. Their stories represent the millions of blacks who left. Were their lives better in the North? You will have to read the book to determine that.

I found the lives of the blacks while they lived in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana to be appalling. They were deprived of a good education, could be killed for no reason, were looked down on and cheated. They lived with threats and confined to shacks or sections of towns that were not maintained by the white politicians. I'm amazed that more people didn't leave the South.

It was only slightly better once they left the South. One of the most moving stories tells about a man looking for a motel room in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1950's and how he was refused a room everywhere he looked, finally traveling on in the night, exhausted and humiliated.

I recommend this book for every American, both black and white, who wants to understand our country's past.
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09/19/2011 page 19
03/03/2016 marked as: read
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