THE GREAT MIGRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS

Here you have a African American solider standing up to his oppressor while a group of African Americans stand by and watch in disbelief. 

The great migration or the African American migration, was the movement of about 6 million African American from the south to the north. African Americans decided to escape the terrors of living in the south by migrating north. Many African Americans wanted and needed a better life for them and their families. They left with the promise of new jobs and homes and that’s what they got for awhile. During this time World War I had taken place and many white soldiers and some black left to fight in the war. Many business owners needed men to fill the jobs they had open that was left by white soldiers. Businessmen from the north recruited African Americans from the south. A lot of the news came from word of mouth and black newspapers. When the war was finished white soldiers wanted their jobs and communities back, they had seen that it had been taken over by African Americans. White soldiers didn’t like the new north which started many riots across the U.S.. In cities like Chicago,Cleveland,New York, Detroit and many others a large number of African Americans still live there today. Whites went on strike which was met by strike breaking which many business owners handled by hiring black people to fill those same jobs but with earning a lower wage. This tactic as well as racial tension sparked some of the most deadliest riots across the U.S., better known as the Red Summer of 1919. Word had spread far and wide to attack African Americans that lived in those cities and many others. African Americans where murdered by whites civilians and soldiers. Reports of around two hundred African Americans were dead as a result of the strike breaking and racial tension.

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Families waiting to travel to the north for a better life

To learn more about the Great migration and the Red Summer of 1919 check out our Cleveland Connections podcast hosted by John Bolino. John will be covering what started the great migration as well as what came from it like the Harlem renaissance. Also tune in to another podcast all about the Red Summer of 1919 hosted by Dmazing Grace.

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