AP US History
11 February 2014
The Migration Series
The Great Migration was a period in history when there was a massive relocation of blacks from the South to the North. These people were driven from their homes due to the lack of work available and poor treatment. They headed north and first filled the positions of those who had gone to fight in the World War, filling mainly industrial jobs, many of them in the steel industry. Migrants headed for cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and St. Louis to find better opportunities for themselves and their families.
Before the blacks could find opportunity in the North they first had to get there. To me this picture was surprising because the railroads provided the black with free transportation making it easier for them to get to the north. Without this help from the railroads some blacks may not have been able to make it to the north, and many may have had to wait longer than they did to migrate in order to save the necessary funds to make the trip. If these people had been forced to wait that would’ve meant more time in the discriminating and low opportunity south and more time that northern industry would be without a sufficient labor force.
Once the migration had spread many towns were left almost bare. For me this picture illustrates just how bad the conditions in the south really were. This shows just how bad the economic conditions were that they forced whole towns of people to up and leave their homes to go look for work somewhere else. This picture also illustrates that it was not only economic but also social conditions that forced the blacks to leave. Had it only been economic some of them would’ve tried to make a living in the south rather than uprooting their entire family and moving away from what they had known.
For some families migrating to the North was not an easy decision. In this picture you can see just how much families debated over the idea. For an outsider,...
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