45 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth Of Other Suns

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2010

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Part 2, Chapters 3-9

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Beginnings”

Part 2, Chapter 3 Summary: “Ida Mae Brandon Gladney”

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney was born in Mississippi and later moved to Chicago with her husband George. African-Americans living in the South during this time had to contend with the oppression of segregation—the “invisible hand [that] ruled their lives and the lives of all the colored people in Chickasaw County and the rest of Mississippi and the entire South for that matter. It wasn’t one thing; it was everything” (31). The chapter also shows how African-Americans like Gladney were forced to learn things through experience and nuance. For example, after Gladney was harassed for having gone to a blacksmith’s shop, she “discovered that, when it came to white people, there were good ones and bad ones like anything else and that she had to watch them closely to figure out the difference” (32).

Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary: “The Stirrings of Discontent”

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney was part of the early period of the Great Migration, which started when social and societal chaos gripped the South following the South’s defeat in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Institutionalized racism and culturally condoned white supremacist terrorism dominated the lives of African-Americans in threatening and terrifying ways long after the fighting ended. Prominent public figures embraced this kind of violence: “‘If it is necessary, every Negro in the state will be lynched,’ James K.