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The Great Migration: A history of Movement Essay

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African-American history in the Twentieth Century is best summarized by both the Civil Rights Movement, and the lesser known Great Migration, in which a large number of them made a move north, west, or overseas, between the years of 1910 and 1940. The broadest reason for this movement is the Jim Crow laws of the south, in which many of the regulations that were harmful towards those parties, whom were already affected by the institution of slavery within recent memory, were instituted. However, this is far from the only cause, of which there are many that span a wide range of reasons: the WWI economic boom, geographic mobility, and the racial antagonism faced on a widespread basis. The actual migration of African-Americans themselves is nothing new, as Sarah-Jane Mathieu notes in her work on the subject, “Movement has always characterized the African-American experience.”1 Whether it be the willful movement to the north for obtaining rights, or the plunder of these people from their homes, African-American Heritage is one of migration.
There are really two Great Migrations, one of which took place in the reconstruction efforts after the Civil War, the other of which took place in the time period described, in the 30 years following 1910. The former in some ways acted as a catalyst for the latter, with many of the same reasons and parallels notable in both. For example, they both had a root in the Socio Economic woes of the period, with reconstruction and the need for the industrial jobs driving them north, where things were a little more liberal than they were in the south. While these two events had many similarities, the Great Migration itself had a far more lasting impact on the future of the union in terms of socio economics...


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...sion”: Memphis, Black Migration, And White Flight In
Sanctuary.” Faulkner Journal 261 (2012): 37-55. Academic Search Complete, Web. 2 May
2014
Lester Cheryl offers an analysis of the book Sanctuary that focuses on the historical impact of
the Great Migration and, specifically, the city of Memphis. In the work provided the author
highlights the economic and social factors with numerical data to support the various pieces of
information contained within.

Mathieu, Sarah-Jane. “The African American Great Migration Reconsidered.” OAH Magazine of
History 23.4 (2009): 19-23. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 May 2014
The work that highlighted the Two Migrations of African-Americans as well as the Societal
norms they faced at the time. Sparse information on economic factors, except when the
Industrial Revolution is brought up in conjunction with the WWI boom



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