Twentieth century black migrations to the North represent the most critical mass movement of African American people in history other than the forced migration of slavery. Because of the huge impact of these migrations on African Americans and on the nation at large, it is important to understand the reasons for the migrations, white and black institutional responses to this movement, and the known consequences of northern urbanization.
Black migrants left the South for several reasons. Most studies blame economic troubles and abuse endured by the southern blacks as the main causes. Boll weevils, floods, employee machinations, mechanization, and minimum-wage laws were among many troubles. Racist abuse added to the troubles.
Migration made race a national issue; the sudden presence of blacks and the economic competition they caused forced northern whites to confront their own racism daily. The myth that race was only a southern problem was broken. According to Nicholas Lemann in The Promised Land: The Great Migration and How it Changed America (1991), The very notion that an enormous racial problem existed in the North caused the whole consensual vision of American society to crumble. Many African Americans already knew this.
African Americans also desired to seize control of their destinies; black migrants looked to their own institutions for help in their new lives. Many black families in the North committed their children to the promise of education, again without significant reward. Finally, housing was almost completely beyond the control of black institutions. Small areas of African American settlement grew into large city sections. The making of the GHETTO was under way.
The arrival of large number of African Americans migrants from the south created numerous problems for northern communities. The Great Migration contributed to the deterioration of ghettos into slums and triggered intraracial as well as interracial tensions. The influx of large number of African Americans into few select cities in the North led to overcrowding and resulted in health and sanitation problems.
The Great Migration also contributed to increased interracial tensions. African American workers from the South were often willing to work for lower wages than whites. Thus, white workers feared that African Americans from the South were going to compete for their jobs, lower their wages, or serve as strikebreakers.
World War I did not change the status and conditions of African Americans. Throughout the war, the army remained segregated, the majority of African American soldiers served in labor battalions, and African American workers continued to be at the bottom of the wage scale. They successfully lobbied for combat troops, and African American soldiers participated on an unprecedented scale in the nation s military. Moreover, the training and commission of large numbers of African American officers signaled the opening of higher military ranks for African Americans. Following the war, however, African Americans did not receive civil rights in exchange for their patriotism. Nevertheless, the events many African Americans experienced after their support of World War I paved the way for the more African American soldiers in World War II..
Show MoreHarlem Renaissance: The Great Migration
Was it a positive influence because of the movements it had and the culture it has added and changed in society during that time.
The Great Migration was a major turning point America and society, including a change of culture and lifestyles. This was a contribution to the melting pot of America and combined great differences of people in a better way. Times were getting hard and people need a change. But people waited and waited change but hopes slowly we away. People of the Black Community had it the worst, between the cruel treatment they received from society and harsh working conditions, they deserved better. Many African Americans during that time made a decision that will change…show more content…
Most farmers did not like this movement. Starting in 1910, three of every four African Americans lived on farms and nine out of ten lived in the south. With this Great Migration, that number was soon going to differ. More than 1.5 Million African Americans left the south and went off to cities. This was to escape tenant farming, sharecropping and peonage. How did the people who didn’t want this movement either enjoy this or allow it. This is why I think this was a great and positive thing.
This was to not only better their lives, but to make a lasting effect for everyone to see. When they arrived at their new location, their happened to be one more issue that was the largest of them all, racism. Racism was one of the many reasons why they moved. But during that time, they couldn’t escape it. Which is a terrible thing. Society needed to change. Even finding a house was hard if whites owned the housing or if they lived near by. This was a constant struggle that they knew was not going to let them down. They were going to fight until they had the right. In the 20’s Harlem New York became the capital of Black America, attracting black intellectuals and artists from across the country to share, contribute, and express their art, music, and culture. This part was called the Harlem Renaissance.
Blacks stood together during this movement and stood up for civil rights, but they were grateful for