45 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth Of Other Suns

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2010

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Part 3, Chapters 10-11

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “Exodus”

Part 3, Chapter 10 Summary: “The Appointed Time of Their Coming”

Part 3 of the book shows how the three main characters left the South and relates anecdotes of other Southern migrants.

Many African-Americans simply snuck away with no notice, so as to not arouse the ire of the whites that they worked for, though some, like Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, managed “a few dollars” (184) from their former employers and did not have to abscond. This shows just how significantly whites in the South limited African-Americans’ freedom of movement, seeking to keep them as cheap labor.

Being denied basic rights led a large portion to leave; others fled for safety reasons, like George Swanson Starling, who needed to get out “before the grove owners got to him” (185).

For others, like Robert Joseph Pershing Foster, leaving the South meant being able to completely start over and remake themselves. When Foster arrived in California, he renamed himself “Bob. Bob with a martini and stingy-brim hat. It was modern and hip, and it suited the new version of himself as the leading man in his own motion picture” (189). This power to be whatever one wanted to be led many to leave to more fully actualize.