Thursday, February 9, 2012

God in His infinite wisdom
Did not make me very wise-
So when my actions are stupid
They hardly take God by surprise
“Acceptance” By Langston Hughes

As we celebrate African American Month this February I thought I little verse from Langston Hughes might be appropriate. He was a great poet and had a diverse and meaningful life.
By now you have probably all heard of the book by Kathyrn Stockett “The Help.” It really is a good book – a terrific read. However it is fiction. If you are more interested in American History I would like to recommend “The Warmth of Other Suns.”
This is an epic, beautifully written masterwork. The author Isabel Wilkerson paints the picture of the great migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West. She tells the story of three individuals Ida Mae, a sharecropper’s wife moving from Mississippi to Milwaukee; George Starling, a citrus picker moving from Florida to Harlem and finally Robert Joseph Pershing Foster a talented surgeon moving from Louisiana to California.
Ms. Wilkerson weaves this epic with anecdotes and interesting side stories that keep you engrossed in this tale of the greatest migration in American History. There are times where the book is so compelling that you can’t put it down. There are other times when it is so heartbreaking that you have to put it down.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a book you pick up Sunday afternoon and finish Sunday evening – it is non-fiction American History at its finest. Ms. Wilkerson’s ability to encapsulate 65 years of history in the stories of three people is just fascinating. Ms. Wilkerson visited Richland County Library and I had the opportunity to meet and speak with her. She herself is fascinating. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist which explains why this book is fact driven, but it is accessible because of her narrative style. She really tells a huge story within the confines of the voices of three people. If you want a satisfying view of American History in the 20th century, you cannot go wrong reading “The Warmth of Other Suns.”
The “Friends of the Lee County Library” is holding its annual membership drive. If you would like to show your support for your library consider joining. Memberships start for $10.00 and you can name an honoree or memorial if you choose. The Friends are really an asset to the library and our mission.

No comments: