The Warmth of Other Suns

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The Warmth of Other Suns
The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson book) cover.jpg
Hardcover edition
Author Isabel Wilkerson
Country United States
Language English
Subject The Great Migration, Second Great Migration
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Random House
Publication date
Media type Print, e-book, audiobook
Pages 622
ISBN 978-0-679-44432-9
OCLC 741763572

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (2010) is a highly acclaimed historical study by Isabel Wilkerson, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award among other accolades.[1][2]


This work tells the story of the Great Migration and the Second Great Migration, the movement of African Americans out of the Southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast and West from approximately 1915 to 1970.[1][2] The book intertwines a general history and statistical analysis of the entire period. It includes the biographies of three persons: a sharecropper's wife who left Mississippi in the 1930s for Chicago, named Ida Mae Brandon Gladney; an agricultural worker, George Swanson Starling, who left Florida for New York City in the 1940s; and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster, a doctor who left Louisiana in the early 1950s, moving to Los Angeles.


The main title of the book is derived from a poem by author Richard Wright, who himself moved from the South to Chicago, in the 1920s.[3] Parts of that poem, published in Black Boy, 1945, with emphasis added, are excerpted here:

. . .I was taking a part of the South

To transplant in alien soil...

Respond to the warmth of other suns

And, perhaps, to bloom.

Awards and honors[edit]


  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, Random House (hardcover, first), ISBN 978-0-679-44432-9
  • Paperback, electronic book, and audiobook editions


  1. ^ a b "The Lives Gained by Fleeing Jim Crow" by Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review, August 30, 2010
  2. ^ a b "Freedom Trains" by David Oshinsky, New York Times Book Review, September 2, 2010
  3. ^ Burch, Audra D.S. (2011-11-20). "Leaving home, and finding it". Miami Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 

External links[edit]