From Book TV: Isabel Wilkerson Speaks About The Warmth of Other Suns

Posted October 3, 2011 by in Miscellaneous / 6 Comments

The Warmth of Other Suns

The National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, is held every year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This year the festival took place on September 24th and 25th. More than 100 authors headlined the festival, including such greats as Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winner Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prize-winners Siddhartha Mukherjee and Jennifer Egan, Garrison Keillor, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson. The whole festival was brought to television that weekend by Book TV on C-SPAN2, but I was unable to watch any of it when it originally aired.

Isabel Wilkerson
Photo: New York Times

Book TV has been re-airing portions of the festival, and last night I had the opportunity to watch Isabel Wilkerson talk about her book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, and take questions from the audience. If you are not familiar with The Warmth of Other Suns, it is the story–that took Wilkerson 15 years to research and write–of the millions of African Americans who migrated from the South to other parts of the country during the era of Jim Crow, in order to find better opportunities and make new lives for themselves. This book has been on my TBR pile for quite some time now and I’m hoping to get to it soon. I really enjoyed listening to Wilkerson talk about the book and how the Great Migration affected the country, the Civil Rights Movement, African American culture, and how it changed 20th-century culture for all of us. Generations of Americans are still benefiting–and will continue to benefit–from the courage of these people to leave the South and find new lives in other parts of the U.S.

I encourage you to take the time to watch this video of Isabel Wilkerson speaking at the 2011 National Book Festival, as well as the call-in portion of the program. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.



  • Thanks for the link! I just got this on audio from Audible and can’t wait to start listening to it.

  • Rosa Mavins Bogar

    I most recently shared with Isabel Wilkerson the author of “The Warmth of Others Suns”of my ongoing quest to have the City of New York pay some kind of homage to the South Carolina Blacks that left for a better life in NYC.Their contributions have helped to make the city the great city it is today! I am a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina. In 2009 I put together a booklet,”South Carolina’s Blacks”a great migration to NYC.Thanks for this space to share this insight. Rosa Mavins Bogar

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  • Rosa Bogar

    Today is July 5th 2012 and I am still in pursuit of seeing NYC pay some kind of homage to the South Carolina’s Blacks that migrated to the City for a better life!Yet many made great contributions toward helping to make New York City the great City it is today! Remember it is never too late to say thank you. I submitt this plea in the spirit of Althea Gibson who was a native of South Carolina Thanks, for this opportunity. Rosa Mavins Bogar

  • Rosa Mavins Bogar

    Happy History Month 2014. I am still in pursuit of seeing a day to honor the South Carolina natives who left South Carolina for a better life in NYC. Their contributions to the city should be recognized and acknowledged toward helping to make NYC the great City it is today! Maybe the new mayor may honor this plea. Thanks, Rosa

  • Rosa Bogar

    I truly wish my dear friend Dr. Leedell W. Neyland’s book “Unquenchable Black Fires” will become a movie He wrote of his survival of the Natchez Fire in 1940 that took the lives of 209 Black souls. He wrote his book in1994.This true history needs to be Realized,Recognized and Appreciated. Dr. Neyland has so much more to share than his book depicts. Please contact Dr. Neyland. He may very well be one of the few survivals. Thanks, Rosa Bogar