The Warmth of Other Suns

This book spans the story of three African Americans emigrating from southern states in the US. The book spans the lifetime of the three individuals: Ide Mae Gladney, George Starling and Robert Parshing Foster as they sought to leave the south. Each of the characters left under different conditions, Ida Mae taking the train with her husband, George riding in a coffin north, and Robert driving west to California. To their surprise, however, the north wasn’t the haven that they assumed it would be. Although it may not have been publicized, each of these three individuals still faced discrimination and found that their hard work in the North wasn’t enough to bring the peace and security that they sought upon their departure of the southern states.

Upon reading this book I didn’t realize how I could apply the stories from it to my research, but after reading each part you realize the importance of each of their stories. Despite having more education or experience than their counterparts, as African Americans, these people still weren’t given the opportunities they deserved as merit would usually grant under such circumstances. For instance, despite having successfully completing medical school Robert Parshing Foster still wasn’t given the recognition and opportunity he deserved when working for the armed forces. Although there were instructions for Robert Foster to be the head surgeon, the orders were ignored and Foster was instructed to take time off. Instead of being able to strike with the rest of her coworkers, Ida Mae realized the pay from her job was more vital to her existence than the rights that the union was picketing for. Situations such as these forces one to realize the limits to education during the mid-twentieth century. Credentials may not always be enough to get you what you deserve.