45 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth Of Other Suns

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2010

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Part 5, Chapters 26-Epilogue

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 5: “Aftermath”

Part 5, Chapter 26 Summary: “In the Places They Left”

Even after legislation mandated ending segregation, the South was slow to adapt and often found ways around fully integrating its schools and services. Wilkerson argues that the virulently racist Sheriff Willis McCall, who “cast a long shadow over Lake County” (438) well into the 1970s, was not an isolated figure. Instead, he was emblematic of many local sheriffs and other officials who sought to keep African-Americans in their place by bending the law. The fact that a man like McCall could win election after election despite his consistent harassment of Black people in his jurisdiction shows the pervasive acceptance of Jim Crow.

Many migrants had an estranged relationship with their former homes. For George Swanson Starling, going home after the demise of McCall was a victory in the face of impossible odds. However, Robert Joseph Pershing Foster always wanted to distance himself from Louisiana, as though he were somehow tainted by being from there. 

Part 5, Chapter 27 Summary: “Losses”

Chapter 27 is a snapshot of the lives of Wilkerson’s three central subjects as they grew older and sustained the expected losses of close loved ones. Wilkerson paints loss as a palpable and permanent fixture in the lives of many African-Americans, who had to give up so much to find a place of opportunity.