History Forum: Journey to the Promised Land - The Great Migration

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Join Spencer Crew, professor of history at George Mason University, for a lecture on the forces at play in the northern migration of more than more than 6 million African-Americans between 1915 and 1970. Propelled out of the South by the boll weevil, economic discrimination and Jim Crow, African-Americans headed north in search of new industrial jobs, better education and living conditions for themselves and their children. This movement was especially intense around the time of the First World War, when the temporary suspension of foreign immigration left factories in need of new workers. Called "The Great Migration," this black exodus out of the South transformed the racial landscape of northern cities, introduced African American music and literature into the national culture, and, despite the hopes of millions, brought the color line North.

Spencer Crew is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of American, African American, and Public History at George Mason University.