The Great Migration and the Black Middle Class

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a book recommendation. It is Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth Of Other Suns, “a narrative history of the Great Migration through the eyes of actual migrants.” (It was one of the NYTBR’s best books of the year in 2011.) A key takeaway, he says, is that America does not want a black middle class. “On a policy level, there is a persistent strain wherein efforts to aid The People are engineered in such a way wherein they help black people a lot less … At this point, such efforts no longer require open bigotry. They are simply built into the system.”

“Get the book,” he writes. “Read it now. Today is too late.” Here it is at Amazon. And at Powell’s. And at Goodreads.

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