Great Migration Facts

Great Migration Facts
There have been several major movements of different peoples in world history referred to as "Great Migrations," but in terms of American history it generally refers to two large movements of black Americans from the south to northern cities. The First Great Migration took place from 1910 to 1930 and the Second Great Migration was from 1941 to 1970. It is estimated that around six million African-Americans migrated north during this period, which reduced the overall population of blacks living in the south from 90% to just over 50%. The migrations were spurred by a number of factors: political and social discrimination in the south as opposed to more political freedoms and job opportunities in the north. The migrations occurred in all of the former Confederate states, but were most marked in the deep south states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia, which were the least industrialized and whose governments were the most ardent supporters of the segregation system. Chicago, Detroit, and New York City were the three primary destinations early in the migrations, but later cities such as Cleveland, Boston, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis also became destinations.
Interesting Great Migration Facts:
Although the cities and states of the north did not have legalized segregation, there was a de facto segregation in many places that kept blacks out of certain neighborhoods and professions.
The summer of 1919, often termed the "Red Summer," witnessed racial riots and violence across the United States that was both a cause and result of the migrations. In southern towns and cities the violence often led to many blacks moving north, while in northern cities, such as Chicago and Omaha, the sudden increase in the African-American population as a result of the migrations led to white resentment.
The Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s was largely the result of the Great Migrations.
The Chicago blues scene was the result of Mississippi migrators.
Henry Ford employed many African-American migrators at his Ford plants.
Black migrants were often resented for taking blue-collar jobs by European immigrants.
Young black male migrants often found themselves competing with white ethnics for "turf" in major cities, leading to the formation of street gangs.
Very few black migrants ended up in small towns or rural areas of the north.
The white business, political, and planter class in the south had mixed reactions to the migrations: some welcomed the exodus, while many in the planter class resorted to nefarious tactics, such as not cashing checks of blacks believed to be headed north, while some raised their black workers' wages.
The Great Depression brought a dramatic decrease in the migration and is considered by many historians to be the end of the First
After World War II, Los Angeles, Oakland, and other cities in California recorded large increases in their black populations.
Before the migrations, South Carolina and Mississippi had majority black populations, but today no state is predominantly black.
Since the 1970s, there has been a modest but study reverse migration of African-Americans from the north to the south. The reverse migration has been spurred by urban professionals who have moved to southern cities such as Atlanta, Memphis, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Houston.


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