The Great Migration, Jim Crow Laws and Discrimination Against African Americans

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The Great Migration period during the age of Jim Crow was a time of major movement of African Americans within the United States. Between the years 1910 to 1930 a huge population increase occurred within African American society that ultimately caused the beginning stages of the Great Migration. As a result, this population increase of blacks influenced them to seek for better opportunity in work, land, and safety for their families. Outside of those reasons one major factor that forced African Americans to migrate was the influence of Jim Crow laws and practices. Jim Crow was still present during this period and caused colored individuals to seek for more habitable areas outside the South being that lynching was at its worst, white mobs attacked blacks, and living conditions were mediocre for African Americans compared to that of a middle class white family. In this paper I will argue that the Jim Crow era was driving force behind the main factors that shaped the Great Migration; and those factors are the ideas of wanting to seek better work opportunity, living conditions, and over all safety for ones self and family. During the beginning stages of the Great Migration period the South inhabited 90 percent of the African American population by the year 1900. Jim Crow practices and ideologies were in full effect and sadly many poor colored individuals suffered at the hands of the white man. Lynchings, assault, murder, and corrupt law making was considered a daily practice amongst white southerners up to this point in time for one sole purpose, and that is to make any successful colored person struggle by any means necessary. According to Kevin Boyle, “white [individuals] thought black life exciting because it was ‘primitive’ and ... ... middle of paper ... ... more of a struggle. In conclusion, the Great Migration was influenced by Jim Crow policies and the major factors that resulted from the influence of Jim Crow to cause blacks to migrate were fear and the desire of wanting to improve one’s life. Sadly, migrants did not receive what they expected when moving north but some improvements were present compared to when living the south. They escaped the torment of lynching and mob violence was not as bad. But due to the presence of Jim Crow practices and ideologies, African Americans were subjected to the same treatment they received in the south, just not as harsh as it was in the south. I believe that Jim Crow indeed influenced migrants in a way that they were only going based off the impulses of fear and sadly them having to live a life of fear caused them to ultimately rely on themselves to achieve true happiness.
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