There are a few non-fiction books that I have read long ago that are still with me, and I am always looking for another read like those. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson is a book I had checked out when it was first published, but never managed to find time for. After all, it is a whopping 600 pages so I knew it would take more than a day or two for me to get through. Janssen reminded me of it again and since I trust her opinion completely, re-checked it out.
The Warmth of Other Suns could be a dry and boring book about the migration of African Americans north from the south after the end of slavery. However, it is not dry or boring. Wilkerson introduces us to three different African Americans and shares their stories and lives with us. There is Ida Mae who moves to Chicago (after a short stint in Milwaukee) with her husband and makes a life there with her family. There is Robert, once known by Pershing back home in the South. His parents believed in education and invested their money in their children's schooling, helping them get ahead. Robert, as he came to be known in California where he relocated, became a doctor, married up, and moved his family to California where he worked to fit in to high society. And George, seeking to escape life in the South left suddenly and became a porter on a train allowing him to continue to visit the South.
Each of the people Wilkerson writes of represent different education levels, backgrounds, and time periods during the Great Migration creating a broader perspective of this event in history. Although this book is long, I could scarcely put it down as I became invested in the three people whose stories are shared.