Monday, May 2, 2011

A summer read-along

Vasilly and Doret have planned a summer read-along at Color Online, starting June 1.  We'll have a halfway post on June 15, and a wrap-up on June 30. Here's the book they chose:

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration ~ by Isabel Wilkerson, 2010, history (USA)
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. This exodus of almost six million people, from 1915 to 1970, changed the face of America. The author, who interviewed more than a thousand people and gained access to new data and official records, compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She tells this story through the lives of three individuals:
  1. Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat;
  2. George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and
  3. Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career and became the personal physician to Ray Charles.
The book shows what it was like to travel across the country by car and train to forge new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how the migrations changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture.
The book is a winner, literally.
  • Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
  • Winner of 2011 Mark Lynton History Prize
  • One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2010
And so is the author.

After covering the historic Midwestern floods, Isabel Wilkerson won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She was the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first black American to win for individual reporting.

How many of you will join me in reading this one?


Vasilly said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for letting all your readers know about it!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Happy to do it. You and Doret get the credit, though, for planning the whole thing. This ought to be fascinating.