The book discussion series continues at the Gays Mills Public Library. The next book that will be read and discussed is a work of non-fiction called ‘The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’ by Isabel Wilkerson.
If you are asking yourself, what great migration, you won’t be alone. This little known or studied migration occurred over half a century when African Americans left the southern United States for cities in the North and West.
An estimated six million people migrated out of the South over the course of 50 years. They migrated to escape the relentless poverty of sharecropping and to escape the oppressive Jim Crow laws of the South. This migration had a profound impact on both the North and South.
This epic study of the migration traces the story of three individuals who left the South.
Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death.
In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town."
Woven into the stories is the sociological and historical studies of the period that add depth to the individual histories. In ‘The Warmth of Other Suns’ Wilkerson has composed a masterpiece of narrative journalism on a subject vital to our national identity, as compelling as it is heartbreaking and hopeful.
The library sponsored book discussion will happen on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. If you are interested in joining the book discussion, please contact the library to reserve a copy of this book. Allow yourself ample time for reading and reflection of this masterful work.