Book review on the 'Great Migration' of early 1900s
- THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
By Isabel Wilkerson
Illustrated. 622 pp. Random House.
Reviewed by David Oshinsky, N.Y. Times
Sept. 2, 2010
"In the winter of 1916, as Americans read the news of unimaginable slaughter in a distant yet rapidly spreading European war, it was easy to overlook stories like the one in The Chicago Defender reporting that several black families in Selma, Ala., had left the South. A popular African-American weekly, The Defender would publish dozens of such stories in the coming years, heralding the good jobs and friendly neighbors that awaited these migrants in Chicago, even printing train schedules to point the way north. Smuggled into Southern railroad depots by Pullman porters, dropped off by barnstorming black athletes and entertainers, The Defender emerged as both cheerleader and chronicler of an exodus that would lead about six million African-Americans to abandon the states of the Old Confederacy between 1915 and 1970. 'If all of their dream does not come true,' it confidently predicted, 'enough will come to pass to justify their actions.'" [Follow link for full review article]