I almost skipped reading this book because it was too long in any format. I purchased the summary and felt I had enough history. Then the friend who recommended the book chastised me as if I had taken a short cut and missed the point of a truly good read. Hence, I purchased the Audible version; it was 22 plus hours of listening to the history of black folks in America and the many journeys to what was thought to be the promised land, which was anywhere but the South.
The book was at times painful and at other times heroic. In many of the characters one could see an aunt, cousin, sister, or neighbor as many baby boomers lived on to witness changes — not transformations — improvements — not social justice. The book is a gentle reminder of the sacrifice, the struggle, and hope for socio-economic freedom which never came for the masses who found their new home “no oasis”. Some in the migration story returned to the familiar and slower pace of the south. Others never went back, not even to the grave.
Why read this book? It is well written, witty, inspirational and history told in an oral tradition that is almost lost. It tells of the personal history of three protagonists that could be almost any of the millions of migrants or their descendants. It’s a story worth reading, feeling, and sharing.
As I reflect on some of the great books that I have read, I would count the Warmth of Others Suns among them. It is a long book but well worth the time invested in a good read.