Don’t be fooled by its epic size (500+ pages)! This historical nonfiction book is a masterpiece and will have you continually looking for more time to turn its pages.
The Warmth of Other Suns is beautifully written with heartbreakingly true content of The Great Migration that shaped our country from the early 1900s through the 1970s. It weaves together the personal testimonies of Ida Mae who moves to Chicago, Robert who moves to Los Angeles, and George who makes it to New York City. It invites you to travel the often hard circumstances these three faced, depicting just a snapshot of what millions endured who made the move over the course of decades in our country.
As a reader, you find yourself captivated by what happens to each of these individuals and their families. At times you are left utterly stunned by the hardships so many have faced (and continue to face) in America as black Americans. Inserted into the testimonies from Ida Mae, Robert, and George is historical content telling of The Great Migration. We are shown how even after our nation’s bloodiest war ended in 1865 and slavery was annulled, life wasn’t very different for millions of Americans due to the Jim Crow laws and caste systems so quickly put into place.
“The people [of The Great Migration] did not cross the turnstiles of customs at Ellis Island. They were already citizens. But where they came from, they were not treated as such. Their every step was controlled by the meticulous laws of Jim Crow, a nineteenth-century minstrel figure that would become shorthand for the violently enforced codes of the southern caste system. The Jim Crow regime persisted from the 1880s to the 1960s, some eighty years, the average life span of a family healthy man. If afflicted the lives of at least four generations and would not die without bloodshed, as the people who left the South foresaw” (p. 10, The Warmth of Other Suns).
The Warmth of Other Suns was a profound read, opening my eyes further to the long history our nation has had with race relations. As I read, I rooted for Ida Mae, Robert, and George to succeed and was left with a favorite new quote that Ida Mae was known to repeat time and time again during her lifetime, “God don’t make no mistakes.” I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! Its many pages are worth your time.