Notes from The Warmth of Other Suns

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. First Edition edition. New York: Random House, 2010.

Notes after searching the index of “The Warmth of Other Suns” for Baltimore

  • The Clansman (1905)
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Note: Look for the related example of waiters or staff at a downtown hotel in Baltimore (where the parking lot for Two Charles Center is now located on Saratoga Street) refusing to serve the author of The Clansman when it was touring as a play.


Frederick Douglass, Baltimore, January 1894 (p. 40):

I hope and trust all will come out right in the end but the immediate future looks dark and troubled. I cannot shut my eyes to the ugly facts before me.

Frederick Douglass, “The Lessons of the Hour”, an address to the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Washington, DC, delivered January 9, 1894 (Baltimore: Press of Thomas & Evans, 1894), p. 23. (text + summary from Antislavery Literature Project + images from the Library of Congress)


According to 1980 census, cities with worst hyper segregation (first census after the end of the Great Migration in the 1970s):

  1. Chicago
  2. Detroit
  3. Cleveland
  4. Milwaulkee
  5. Newark
  6. Gary, Indiana
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Baltimore
  10. St. Louis

“all of them receiving stations of the Great Migration” (p. 398)


Kerner Report:

About 74 percent of the rioters were brought up in the North… The typical rioter was a teenager or young adult, a lifelong resident of the city in which he rioted. [What the frustrated northerners] appeared to be seeking was fuller participation in the social order and the material benefits enjoyed by the majority of American citizens.

“What did they know of the frustration of the young people who had grown up in the mirage of equality but a whole different reality, in a densely packed world of drugs and gangs and disorder, with promises that seemed to have turned to dust?” (p. 409)


Additional References

Charles S. Johnson, Patterns of Negro Segregation (1943): included an “entire section of racial ettiquette in traffic”:

When driving their own cars they were expected to maintain their role as Negros and in all cases to give whites the right-of-way… If there is any doubt about whose turn it is to make a move in traffic, the turn is assumed to be the white person’s.

Note: This is unavailable online but I found a review.

U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Negro Economics, Negro Migration in 1916-17 (DC: GPO, 1919)

The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois (1968)

His Day is Marching On:A Memoir of W.E.B. Du Bois (1971)