Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
At the end of the Civil War, about 90% of African Americans lived in the former slave-holding states of the south. But as Reconstruction ended and the promises of emancipation dimmed, Blacks began to leave the agrarian south for cities in the north like Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia. It is estimated than more than 6 million African Americans left the South between 1910 and 1970. This population movement, especially the period between 1915 and 1930, is known as the Great Migration. Within this time frame, several waves of migration occurred; however, the largest wave of migration took place during World War I, as thousands of factory workers left to fight the war. This entry examines the causes of the Great Migration and discusses the social, legal, and economic challenges faced by African Americans in northern cities. After the Civil War and despite the end of slavery, some southern ...