Great Migration


Great Migration

▪ African-American history
      in U.S. history, the widespread migration of African Americans in the 20th century from rural communities in the South to large cities in the North and West. At the turn of the 20th century, the vast majority of black Americans lived in the Southern states. From 1916 to 1970, during this Great Migration, it is estimated that some six million black Southerners relocated to urban areas in the North and West.

      The massive stream of European emigration to the United States, which had begun in the late 19th century and waned during World War I, slowed to a trickle with immigration reform in the 1920s. As a result, urban industries were faced with labour shortages. A huge internal population shift among African Americans addressed these shortfalls, particularly during the World Wars, when defense industries required more unskilled labour. Although the Great Migration slowed during the Great Depression, it surged again after World War II, when rates of migration were high for several decades.

      The “push” factors for the exodus were poor economic conditions in the South—exacerbated by the limitations of sharecropping, farm failures, and crop damage from the boll weevil—as well as ongoing racial oppression in the form of Jim Crow laws. “Pull” factors included encouraging reports of good wages and living conditions that spread by word of mouth and that appeared in African American newspapers. With advertisements for housing and employment and firsthand stories of newfound success in the North, the Chicago Defender, for example, became one of the leading promoters of the Great Migration. In addition to Chicago, other cities that absorbed large numbers of migrants include Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; and New York City.

      Seeking better civil and economic opportunities, many blacks were not wholly able to escape racism by migrating to the North, where African Americans were segregated into ghettos and urban life introduced new obstacles. Newly arriving migrants even encountered social challenges from the black establishment in the North, which tended to look down on the “country” manners of the newcomers.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Migration — can refer to any one of several different historical migrations of people, including:* The Migration Period of Europe, also called the Barbarian Invasions, between 300 and 700 A.D. * The Great Serb Migrations from the Ottoman Empire to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Migration — migration since 1916 of American blacks out of the South …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Great Migration (African American) — The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1930. Some historians differentiate between a First Great Migration (1910–30), numbering about 1.6 million …   Wikipedia

  • Great migration to Cleveland — During the early 20th, there was “movement of African Americans from the South to the urban North,” known as The Great Migration (Grossman, 2005). The Great Migration began in 1910s and lasted nearly thirty years. “Estimates vary, but perhaps as… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Migration of Canada — The Great Migration of Canada (otherwise known as the Great Migration from Britain) was period of high immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1850 involving over 80,000 migrants. [http://www.linksnorth.com/canada history/thecolonies.html] Though… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Migration Study Project — The Great Migration Study Project is an ongoing scholarly endeavor to catalogue all emigrants to colonial New England between 1620 and 1643 (the Puritan great migration). Directed by Robert Charles Anderson, it is done in collaboration with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Migration (Puritan) — The Great Migration may refer to the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, wherein eleven ships delivered 1,000 passengers migrating from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It may refer more generally to the Puritan migration of approximately 40,000… …   Wikipedia

  • Second Great Migration (African American) — The Second Great Migration was the migration of more than 5 million African Americans from the South to the other three regions of the United States. It took place place from 1941, through World War II, and lasted until 1970.cite… …   Wikipedia

  • New Great Migration — See also: Great Migration (African American) The New Great Migration (African American) is the term for demographic changes from 1965 to the present which are a reversal of the previous 35 year trend of black migration within the United States.… …   Wikipedia

  • The Great Migration (album) — Infobox Album | Name = The Great Migration Type = Album Artist = Bronze Nazareth Released = May 23, 2006 Recorded = Genre = Hip Hop Length = 50:40 Label = Think Differently Music Babygrande Records Producer = Bronze Nazareth Dreddy Kruger Reviews …   Wikipedia