Social Aspect


Through the sociology perspective, the analysis of the Gladney’s move would be for personal reasons, such as family, which contributed to Northern immigration. Sociology looks at “The study of society, human social interaction, and the rules and processes that bind and separate people.” This would convene for analysis of the role of the family system in the lives of migrants. Every main character had a family, which served as much of their motivation in migrating. Many of the migrants knew nothing about living up North. Ida Mae had two children and was pregnant with her third, as she set out to move from Mississippi (Wilkerson 184). Robert Foster had a wife and two daughters. The objective of raising a family and the hope for a better life was a major factor in the decision to move. Just as the main characters in Warmth of Other Suns, my great grandparents’ motivation for moving from Texas was family. Hoping to put their children in a better position than the one in which they were was much of the backing for moving to California. 


My family’s migration from Texas to California in the 1940s significantly changed the lives of my grandparents as well as future generations. There were very limited opportunities for African-Americans in Jasper, Texas such as education, employment, housing, etc. As seen in America, those three components manifest to create your social ranking in society. California allowed the Watson family to explore those opportunities in a multitude of ways that would not have been allotted to them if they had continued to live in Jasper.


Shelly Watson: 
“I wholeheartedly believe that my opportunities to go to college, graduate school, getting a job, all of that would have been decreased if I was raised in Jasper. California allowed my mother and father to get college and graduate educations. I don’t even know if there are any prominent colleges near Jasper! Without their education they wouldn’t have had the opportunities to get great jobs and raise me in nice neighborhoods. You understand? That simple move changed the whole pathway of our family. Changed everything” 
Andrea Watson: 
“I can tell you right now...I wouldn’t have had my children. I wouldn’t have had my home. I can’t say exactly what life would have been like but believe me a lot of the amenities I had as a child wouldn’t have been given to me. The opportunities, the memories, all of that. Most people in Jasper barely break the middle class line. Life’s never been easy but life in Jasper just wouldn’t suffice.”
Milford Watson:
“No. There was a reason we left. Jasper had nothing, probably still has nothing to offer anyone.”