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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of…
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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (udgave 2011)

af Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3,5751382,636 (4.44)466
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.… (mere)
Medlem:MulticulturalTeam
Titel:The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Forfattere:Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)
Info:Vintage (2011), Edition: Reprint, 640 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration af Isabel Wilkerson

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Viser 1-5 af 138 (næste | vis alle)
It's almost impossible to come away from this book not feeling at least a little moved, and much enriched, by these stories of the Great Migration of southern blacks to the northern cities. Equal parts wistful Studs Terkel oral histories, bleak John Steinbeck Depression-era travelogues, and rough Upton Sinclair immigrant tales, The Warmth of Other Suns does a magnificent job of telling the tale of one of the most important stories in American history (and one of the largest internal migrations in world history) by focusing on three very different, yet very typical members of the vast exodus of blacks from the South in the early part of the twentieth century: train porter George Starling's journey from Florida to New York City; doctor Robert Foster's journey from Louisiana to Los Angeles; and housewife Ida Mae Gladney's journey from Mississippi to Chicago.

Each of their stories is chronicled with vast amounts of interviews and scholarship, and the love that Wilkerson, a scion of this tectonic demographic shift herself, has for the subject material shines on every page. George, Robert, and Ida Mae's feelings of terror, heartsickness, determination, loneliness, and loss are rendered so vividly that by the end of the book, as Wilkerson is summarizing the forces that lead them to their ultimate destinations in the north, you feel as though you've been given a front-row seat in the great American story of people looking for opportunity in a new land. The parallels Wilkerson draws between the Great Migration and the waves of European immigration are fascinating; I had many occasions to ponder my own heritage as she describes how newly arrived blacks in the north, desperate for jobs that paid better than the near-slave labor still prevalent in the south up until the fifties and sixties, ended up used as pawns in the great battles between industry and labor that created the middle class. The black migrants were both very similar to, and yet very different from, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Slavs, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, etc who made their own mark on the country, and and the feelings you get from watching their hopes rise and fall with each new disappointment are indescribable, as is the full extent of the viciousness of the southern apartheid they tried to escape.

The bittersweetness felt by the migrants, who found new lives but certainly no New Jerusalem, is especially vivid when told through the main characters. Their flights from indentured servitude, lynching, segregation, and a thousand insults to find better wages, civil rights, and at least some part of the American Dream only to run up against the grim northern urban conflicts, the fraying of their connections to the south, and the inevitable exploitation and trials of immigrants, seem almost unbelievable in the era of the 44th President, but it's all true, all there. Ultimately Wilkerson takes what I think is the correct approach to what the "meaning" of the Great Migration is: though it's impossible to know what American history would be like without the massive wave of people voting with their feet, since it affected all parts of life so tremendously (what would cities like Baltimore or Detroit be like without the Great Migration? What about rock and roll, or Presidential elections, or the religious landscape?), we can nevertheless stand back, take in the huge human tide, and then go about our lives with a renewed appreciation for what it means to be an American. An interesting follow-up exercise after finishing the book is to look at demographic maps of major northern cities; these footprints are still written on the newly-washed shores of the inner cities. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
This is a must-read book for anyone living in the US. Wilkerson's super in-depth case studies chronicle the lives of three southern African Americans who migrate north during 3 different decades in the 20th century, ending up in LA, Chicago and NYC. ( )
  dcvance | May 4, 2021 |
this is an incredible feat of reporting and data collation, and a really great piece of rich, detailed historical writing. focusing on 3 people and their families to really tell this epic, multigenerational story is a really excellent way to show us what life was like in the south for black people in general and in specific, as well as what it was like to leave, and for them to make their places in chicago, new york, and los angeles. her ability to give us their stories, while integrating a little personal history of her own family as well as bits and pieces here and there from other people, and to incorporate the more general statistical type information as she went, made for such a nice flow (both of narrative and information). this is chock full of information and character and will likely be an invaluable resource not just of the great migration, but of life under jim crow and in the south during the time period she covers.

super impressive and beautifully written on top of it all.

there is so much that will stay with me. the way the north wasn't the utopia that everyone assumed it was (and the way we were taught it was). that newcomers didn't live in slum tenements 6 people to a room because they couldn't afford better, but because no one else would rent to them, and actually they paid much much more than the less rundown rooms that white people got for less. the way the entire block cleared within a couple of weeks after ida mae and her family moved in, and how the racial makeup of the neighborhood shifted so quickly. the way that robert had to drive all night and all day because no motel would let him stay, no matter how unsafe it was for him to keep driving. the people who shipped themselves north in a box or in a coffin to get out of the south. because of the way it was made hard if not impossible to leave the south, when the white southerners realized they were losing their work force.

the only negative thing i can think to say is that the endnotes are poorly done. first of all i am in the minority, i guess, in that i much prefer footnotes to endnotes. but there is no notation in the text that there are endnotes at all. no number, no symbol, no indication to flip to the back and find out more. nothing at all. you just get to the end of the book and find a note section, with a page number and a couple of bolded words, indicating what the endnote is referring to. but nothing about those words in the text let us know to go to the back for an endnote. big editing mistake. so for the first time ever, i didn't read any endnotes in a book, and i still found this book superlative in every way.

a few things in particular that struck me as i was reading, early on:

with the trump administration over the last few years, i'd been thinking of the rise of nazism, but hadn't thought of jim crow in the same light. she makes an excellent comparison in how the jews were scapegoated after wwi to how the blacks were treated after the civil war and reconstruction. in both cases the rights they had gained were all stripped away; it was especially poignant that she used the word pogrom for what black people endured.

"Not unlike European Jews who watched the world close in on them slowly, perhaps barely perceptibly, at the start of Nazism, colored people in the south would first react in denial and disbelief to the rising hysteria, then, helpless to stop it, attempt a belated resistance, not knowing and not able to imagine how far the supremacists would go. The outcomes for both groups were widely divergent, one suffering unspeakable loss and genocide, the other enduring nearly a century of apartheid, pogroms, and mob executions. But the hatreds and fears that fed both assaults were not dissimilar and relied on arousing the passions of the indifferent to mount so complete an attack."

an absolutely horrifying statistic:
"Across the South, someone [black] was hanged or burned alive every four days from 1889 to 1929..."

some of them were lynched because they were "suspected of killing cattle, boastful remarks" or "insult to a white person." i know that justice wasn't justice then (or now) so a trial and conviction wouldn't have meant much either, but to be killed because of a suspicion seems particularly awful. and reminds me so much of what is going on today, with so many policemen killing black people because they're suspected of some crime or another, usually something quite minor. and how with lynching so widespread, it wasn't just a meting out of "justice," but a message to all the other black people in the area that if they wanted to live they had to agree to live under the white man's boot. which feels an awful lot like the message being given to communities of color right now, with the way they are killed by police with near impunity.

this really struck me, as someone who has gone into schools to give presentations and often been surprised at some of the names i've come across: "Sometimes parents tried to superimpose glory on their offspring with the grandest title they could think of, or, if they were feeling especially militant, the name of a senator or president from the North. It was a way of affixing acceptability if not greatness. It forced everyone, colored and white, to call their janitor sons Admiral or General or John Quincy Adams, whether anybody, including the recipient, liked it or not. White southerners who would not call colored people Mr. or Mrs. were made to sputter out Colonel or Queen instead." (my italics) ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Apr 25, 2021 |
Fascinating story that focuses on 3 individuals and their journey out of the south. ( )
  kheders | Apr 25, 2021 |
As a resident of a small town in south Arkansas (Fordyce), I am familiar with the subject of this book, the migration of millions of poor, Black southerners to metropolitan areas in the North, Midwest and West. In fact, there are a number of “Fordyce Clubs” in such places as Milwaukee, Chicago and Las Vegas, populated by residents of those cities who have their roots in Fordyce, a town with a population under 5,000.

This book focuses on three specific cases of migration. The first documents the relocation of a sharecropper family in Mississippi to first Milwaukee, then Chicago, during the Depression. The second deals with a central Florida fruit picker, who migrates to Harlem. The final case involves a Black doctor who relocated from Monroe, Louisiana to Los Angeles. These vignettes are highly instructional and captivating. In between these case studies are broader, macro looks at the phenomenon. This aspect of the book is strangely repetitive and far less instructive.

I’ve got to believe that more than three individual case studies were available, many of which could have been used to cover much of what was discussed in a far less specific and less impactful way. Nevertheless, I can recommend this book to anyone with an interest in American history. ( )
  santhony | Apr 1, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 138 (næste | vis alle)
I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up: you’ll not only learn a lot about this underappreciated part of recent America history (I see its remnants about me every day in Chicago, since I live on the South Side, perhaps the most famous destination of the Migration), but also become deeply involved in the lives of Ida Mae, George, and Robert. The ending is poignant and bittersweet, and will make you both proud of the migrants and sad about their fate. The writing is quite good (Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism—the first black woman to do so—for her work at The New York Times), and the scholarship, though thorough, is worn lightly. (The book was 15 years in the making and Wilkerson interviewed over 1200 people.) If there’s one flaw—and it’s a small one—the writing is occasionally awkward and more than occasionally repetitious, with the same facts repeated in different places. But that’s a trifle that should by no means put you off.
 
Wilkerson intersperses historical detail of the broader movement and the sparks that set off the civil rights era; challenging racial restrictions in the North and South; and the changing dynamics of race, class, geography, politics, and economics. A sweeping and stunning look at a watershed event in U.S. history.
tilføjet af sduff222 | RedigerBooklist, Vanessa Bush (Sep 15, 2010)
 
Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, uses the journeys of three of them-a Mississippi sharecropper, a Louisiana doctor, and a Florida laborer--to etch an indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in 20th-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely.
tilføjet af ArrowStead | RedigerEntertainment Weekly, Tina Jordan (Sep 10, 2010)
 
Not since Alex Haley's Roots has there been a history of equal literary quality where the writing surmounts the rhythmic soul of fiction, where the writer's voice sings a song of redemptive glory as true as Faulkner's southern cantatas.
tilføjet af ArrowStead | RedigerSan Francisco Examiner
 
The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover the full half century of the Great Migration....Wilkerson combines impressive research...with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.
tilføjet af ArrowStead | RedigerThe Wall Street Journal
 

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Wilkerson, Isabelprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Burns, KenIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Miles, RobinFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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I was leaving the South
To fling myself into the unknown. . . .
I was taking a part of the South
To transplant in alien soil,
To see if it could grow differently.
If it could drink of new and cool rains,
Bend in strange winds,
Respond to the warmth of other suns
And, perhaps, to bloom.

- Richard Wright
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To my mother and
to the memory of my father,
whose migration made me possible,
and to the millions of others like them
who dared to act upon their dreams.
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

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