Welcome to our Black History Month reading activity! We're excited to read and discuss The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson together with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and our friends across the country over the next five weeks. 

Here's how it's going to work. 

What are we reading, and when? 
We've divided the reading into five sections, one each week. We know it's a big book, but think of it this way: to get through you only need to read an average of 15 pages a day over 36 days. That's easy! 

When and where will we discuss the book?
Discussion will begin each week on Wednesdays at 2 PM (Eastern Time). 

Visit the Drop the I-Word Blog for the full list questions about the week's reading that will guide the discussion. The discussion will happen on Facebook on the Drop the I-Word page. Be sure to "Like" us at Facebook.com/droptheiword so you can join in!  

Also be sure to check the blog to read the questions to guide your reading for the following week. You can also read all the questions for the book in the Warmth of Other Suns reading guide.

Five-Week Reading Plan:

  • Week 1, Feb 1 - 7: Read pp. 1-123 
The beginning of the book through the end of  "A Burdensome Labor" 
Discuss on Feb 8th via Facebook

  • Week 2, Feb 8 - 14: Read pp. 124 - 222 
"The Awakening" through the end of  "Crossing Over"
Discuss on Feb 15th via Facebook

  • Week 3, Feb 15 - 21: Read pp. 223 - 331
Part Four through the end of "The Other Side of Jordan"
Discuss on Feb 22nd via Facebook

  • Week 4, Feb 22 - 28: Read pp. 332-431
"Complications" through the end of "The Fullness of the Migration."
Discuss on Feb 29th  via Facebook

  • Week 5, Feb 29 - Mar 6: Read pp. 432-549
Part Five through the end of the author's Acknowledgements letter
Discuss on Mar 7th  via Facebook

Getting started: Week 1
Here's a preview of the questions to contemplate as you read the first 123 pages. You can share your responses on Facebook next Wednesday, February 8!

  1. The Warmth of Other Suns combines a sweeping historical perspective with vivid intimate portraits of three individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, George Swanson Starling, and Robert Pershing Foster. What is the value of this dual focus, of shifting between the panoramic and the close-up? In what ways are Ida Mae Gladney, George Starling, and Robert Foster representative of the millions of other migrants who journeyed from South to North?

  2. In many ways The Warmth of Other Suns seeks to tell a new story--about the Great Migration of Black people from the South to the North and those who stayed--and to set the record straight about the true significance of that migration. "What were the major economic, social, and historical forces that sparked the Great Migration? Why did blacks leave in such great numbers from 1915 to 1970?

Additional comments or questions? Post them to the Drop the I-Word Facebook page or Twitter with the hashtag #GreatMigration. 

Share with your friends! Click here to tweet: 

During Black History Month I'm reading "Warmth of Other Suns" w @DroptheIWord & @BAJITweet. Join us! http://bit.ly/wio0T9 #GreatMigration