The Warmth of Other Suns

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pulitzer Prize winning author 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. In The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, she tells this story through the lives of three individuals, and examines how the migration changed the face of America.


Isabel Wilkerson

Comments [8]

joy keys from

This week on “Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys”-podcast

The Warmth of Other Suns with Author Isabel Wilkerson


DATE: Saturday November 6. 2010

TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST

GO TO: and listen to the show from your computer.

CALL: 646-929-0368 to listen and ask questions from your phone.



“Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on providing people with tools to enrich and advance their lives mentally, physically and emotionally. You can listen to archives of previous shows by going to Check out the podcasts with Singer Nneka, Actress Pam Grier, Oscar winner Director Bill Guttentag, Soap Star Victoria Rowell, Former CBS Anchor Mark McEwen and Stroke, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Filmmaker M. K. Asante Jr., Poet Nikki Giovanni, HIV/AIDS with AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent, Diabetes with Singer Angie Stone, Domestic Violence with Women in Transition, and Living with Lupus with Mercedes Scelba-Shorte from America’s Next Top Model and many more.

For more information about “Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys” call: 267-288-7386 or email: saturdayswithjoykeys (at)

Follow on TWITTER: Become a fan on FACEBOOK. Download on iTunes.

Nov. 04 2010 10:15 PM
Kitty Collins from New Orleans

Before the Civil War, New Orleans was 1/3 white, 1/3 enslaved people of color, and 1/3 free people of color (designated as such - FPC- on their birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.) Segregation, as practiced in the rest of the South, did not come to New Orleans until the 1890s.

Oct. 02 2010 08:20 PM
George B. Marshall

I don't think you are a credible historian.Based upon my Knowledge of my relatives and so many other black people who where here (north of the Mason Dixon line) before or during WW I, I heard so many distortions on WNYC. If your book is available in my public library I might pick some of them out in the future. (James Van Der Zee recorded some of Balcks in Harlem

Sep. 29 2010 02:58 PM

What is this, Groundhog Day?? Tomorrow's lineup sounds strangely familiar!

Sep. 29 2010 02:00 PM
Mary from Brooklyn

What about the negative effects the great migration have had on the north?

Sep. 29 2010 01:56 PM
Susan Begy from Brooklyn, NY

Ms. Wilkerson mentioned that perhaps the law against black and white persons playing chess together was because someone was irked that they were having too much fun together. I, a white woman, connect that to my observation that the overwhelming majority of advertising images present homogeneous racial couples. It is rare to see mixed race in magazines, on billboards, etc. The media has a great deal of power in driving the culture, and it is interesting to contemplate the effects these images have.

Sep. 29 2010 01:50 PM

It seems like most people that migrated were from the rural south. What about those that lived in the cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis etc.? Was life easier in the southern cities than the farms or was it the case that most blacks lived in the country rather than the southern cities?

Sep. 29 2010 01:46 PM
Erica E Woods from Riverdale, New York

Both my parents and in-laws were part of the great migration. My father came from Cleveland, Tennessee to Harlem in 1959; he was 20 years old. He had 8 dollars in his pocket, a couple of Miles Davis records, and only a name of a friend of his mother's who let him stay with her until he got a job and a room. My mother came in 1942, she was 6. My Grandparents were driven from their home in Branchville, South Carolina because as farmers, the ruling caste refused to pay fair shares on their produce. My grandfather had a temper, and my great grandmother urged him to move out of the south before he was lynched. He left first, leaving my grandmother with a 6 year old, a 2 year old (who had polio) and an infant. He found work first in Philadelphia, and then moved in with his sisters in the Bronx, and sent for his family. My in-laws were from the same plantation in Sunflower Mississippi, they were sharecroppers. One night they just left, my mother-in-law says that if they didn't the white people who owned the plantation would never have let them leave. They took the train to Chicago where my husband's extended family had moved to.

My family have just begun talking about these events. After my grandfather died. While he was alive, he didn't want to talk about the horrors of the south. He didn't want his family to ever know he had been scared for his life then. He didn't want his family to know he had to run, he didn't want to appear weak. Little did he know, we all think his actions were probably the most courageous thing that he could have done.

Sep. 29 2010 12:49 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.