The African American Great Migration was the expansion of some six million African American to north and western regions of the United States from the American South. The migration occurred in two separate phases, but the whole event generally begun in 1916 and ended in the mid or late 1960s. African Americans left the oppressive American South in hopes to find better conditions in the American North and West.
Cause & Influence
In 1863, the U.S. government emancipated Afrikan American slaves in the South. In 1865, the Confederate States lost the American Civil War and were forced to free their slaves. Following this defeat, southern states begin implementing racially biased laws, called Black Codes. These laws were implemented to reestablish a slave-like economy and to restrict the freedom of the newly emancipated American Negro.
Reaction By Northern Whites
...the shame put upon the country by the mobs, including United States soldiers, sailors, and marines, which have assaulted innocent and unoffending negroes in the national capital. Men in uniform have attacked negroes on the streets and pulled them from streetcars to beat them. Crowds are reported ...to have directed attacks against any passing negro....The effect of such riots in the national capital upon race antagonism will be to increase bitterness and danger of outbreaks elsewhere. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People calls upon you as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the nation to make statement condemning mob violence and to enforce such military law as situation demands...
Every week the militant leaders gain more headway. They may be divided into general classes. One consists of radicals and revolutionaries. They are spreading Bolshevist propaganda. It is reported that they are winning many recruits among the colored race. When the ignorance that exists among negroes in many sections of the country is taken into consideration the danger of inflaming them by revolutionary doctrine may [be] apprehended.... The other class of militant leaders confine their agitation to a fight against all forms of color discrimination. They are for a program on uncompromising protest, "to fight and continue to fight for citizenship rights and full democratic privileges."
States Where American Blacks Migrated From
States Where American Blacks Migrated To