Second Great Migration

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The Second Great Migration had evidently been higher in numbers, more sustained, and more radical than the initial Great Migration. The following migration had not yet adapted the name it has today, but was then known as a continuation of the antecedent Great Migration. After being put to rest during the Great Depression, the Great Migration returned for the second World War. In comparison to the the past where African Americans migrated primarily to Harlem, New York for cultural purposes, the Second Great Migration was provoked by racism, the remaining damage of the Great Depression, and the lack of job opportunities. As stated by an African American woman from Mississippi, Maud Jones, “there wasn’t anything for the black people to do but…show more content…
The conditions which made the South unlivable included lynching, abusive employers, segregation, as well as the taunts and violence by the emerging Ku Klux Klan. Suffering through these horrific circumstances, African Americans had no choice but to start writing to employers and officials in the North. A struggling African American wrote of his high hopes to escape the south where “a negro man’s not as good as a white man’s dog” (The Second Great Migration). Due to the lacking jobs residing in the south, numerous African Americans found themselves traveling north with a variety of confirmed jobs awaiting them. The Pennsylvania Railroad was desperate for workers, and had paid the traveling expenses for an estimation of 12,000 African Americans(Christensen, Stephanie), showing the high demand of jobs in the north. To their surprise, upon arriving in the North, they found that segregation was still present and “long veins of racism ran under the Northern soil, just as they had done in the South”(Boehm, Lisa). Fortunately however, in comparison to the South, most described the new conditions as appealing. Racism towards the African Americans was prevalent in all communities, but comparing the discrimination to the racial tensions in the South, the conditions in…show more content…
Although, African Americans were blindsided by the new element and what it had to offer they had not realized the realistic conditions of the jobs. The north and western states only accepted few African Americans in their workforces, especially in the industrial businesses where they allowed minimal amounts of the migrators to work the skilled positions. Most of the African Americans received work “as janitors, cafeteria workers, and other industrial equivalents of domestic labor” (The Second Great Migration). The prosperous industry that gave many in the south hope, resulted in similarities to the segregating conditions of the south. In the north, while segregation was present but not “practiced by law”(The Second Great Migration), the African Americans were so overwhelmed by the new cities and jobs that they overlooked the barely reduced segregation and wrote persuading letters to family and friends back home. One letter read, “...People are coming here every day and finding employment. Nothing here but money - and it's not hard to get...”(The Second Great Migration), this enticed those left in the south to follow the migrants path and travel to the profitable

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