In light of the racial tensions in Milwaukee and other places, here is a book I would recommend that everyone read to understand the history of African-Americans in our nation, including the great migration, the Jim Crow era, and beyond.
When I was at a gathering with ministry leaders focused on the multi-ethnic church over a year ago, Professor Soong-Chan Rah recommended that anyone wanting to better understand the historical background of race relations in the United States should read Isabel Wilkerson‘s book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. I finished the book awhile ago, but am only now sharing some of my reflections after reading the book.
In the book, Wilkerson traces the waves of African-American moving from the Southeastern United State to the Northeast, Midwest, and West between 1915 and 1970. While doing so, Wilkerson adeptly interweaves sociological analysis and personal narratives to portray a powerfully intimate and wide-reaching view of this movement. The title of the book is taken from the words of Richard Wright, author of Native Son, in his memoir Black Boy, where he writes:
I was leaving the…
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