Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson's


The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson was recommended to me several times by several different people. Also, when President Obama went on vacation last summer, this is one of the books that he took with him. Being that I think that The President is fine, handsome, serious, athletic, has a  great smile and walk, everything that I would want in a husband extremely intelligent and well-read, you know that I had to read this book. (Sorry about the mistake.)

President Obama
When I finished reading this book, all I could say was "My People! My People!" as stated by Zora Neale Hurston in her autobiography Dust Tracks on A Road. Zora stated "My People! My People!" to express her disappointment with her people, but I am screaming "My People! My People!" with the excitement of how soft, strong and tough my people are. So, if my people are soft, strong and tough, then you know that I must be the same. (I am doing a really crazy, silly dance in my mind right now.)

In this novel, Wilkerson traces the lives of three African Americans who left the South during The Great Migration: Ida Mae Gladney who left Mississippi and migrated to Chicago, George Starling who left Florida and migrated to Harlem, and Robert Foster who left Louisiana and migrated to California.

Now, Wilkerson tells the three individuals' stories and the history of The Great Migration in a way that is both upclose and personal. I had no idea that the South tried its best to keeps Blacks there, because they did not want to lose their labor force. So, when many Blacks left the South, they had to sneak, take as little as possible with them and risk losing their lives. (Why would the South treat us like shit badly, expect us to work hard without making enough money to survive and expect us to stay and take it? The Double minded South. Oh my!!! I grew up in rural Alabama, but come on "The Dirty South," you should have known that people who survived the middle passage could leave or stay and beat the "The Dirty South: "Soft, Strong and Tough.)

Let me go off topic for a minute! If you think that people who left were soft, strong and tough, let's think about the people who stayed. WOW! My paternal and maternal grandparents and most of my family stayed in the South and managed to own land, educate their children, establish a sense of community, and live pretty good lives. My family and so many others beat "The Dirty South."

Back to the migrants! My heart was sadden when I thought of people having to leave their homes with almost nothing, but my heart rejoiced when I thought about the idea that they left with nothing but acquired so much: houses, cars, jobs, careers, friends, education for their children etc. "My people! My People!"

The common thread that runs through the lives of all three people in this novel is that they were determined to make it "By Any Means Necessary" as stated by Malcolm X.

Knowledge is power, and this book made me feel very powerful, and it made me want to continue to run this race called life and win victoriously.

All praises to the young, gifted, and talented Isabel Wilkerson, who, acted on the call, and brought to the world, the stories of everyday people during the Great Migration. (By the way, she is a graduate of Howard University. HBCU all day, Baby!)

Isabel Wilkerson
 Please, please, Yes, I"m begging, read this book and share the Knowledge...........

8 comments:

Tracy Ricks said...

WOW!!! That really blessed me! I needed that extra lifer today. I will definetly add this book to my list. Thanks for sharing!

Tracy Ricks said...

P.s. I meant I needed that extra lift not lifer. Lol

BT said...

I always enjoy reading your blogs. Keep it up.
Thank you!!!!!!!

writing jobs said...

nice post

dorothyreed19 said...

I am reading this book now. I realize that our ancestors were brave to stay. They did not give in but created a way out of no way. When they rose up to say "no more", It liberated Black Americans all over the USA and yes, even the North. I thank my anscestors everyday. We are rich in land, education and family.

Jacqueline Stallworth said...

Thanks for leaving the comments. Leaving or staying both were risk: "My People! My People!"

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

Oh joy! You read it! The book that I never wanted to end! This is one of the best books ever written and I think people should be teaching history from it. I love the way she wove the stories of the 3 individuals in. There was no way I could put that book down without know what happened to them. The book was just brilliant. Epic, for sure!

Jacqueline said...

Shannon, I definitely think this books should be taught in schools.

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