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The Great Migration by: Alexis Toledo

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Lillian Degel

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of The Great Migration by: Alexis Toledo

The Harlem Renaissance
The Rebirth of Black Arts and Culture in the North The Great Migration
1910 - 1930

The Great Migration was a relocation of 6 to 7 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest, and West from 1916 to 1930 which had a huge impact on urban life in the United States.

Driven from their homes by unsatisfactory economic opportunities and harsh segregationist laws, many blacks headed north, where they took advantage of the need for industrial workers that first arose during the First World War.

Between 1910 and 1930, the African-American population decreased in the South and increased in the Northern states by about forty percent as a result of the migration.

This “Great Migration” was one of the largest internal movements of people in the history of the United States and it is a shift that impacted culture, politics, and economics as new African American communities struggled to thrive in their new environment.


This great exodus of African Americans drained off most of the rural black population of the South, and indeed for a time froze African American population growth in parts of the region.

A number of states experienced decades of black population decline, especially across the Deep South Known as the "black belt" where cotton had been king.

In 1910, African Americans constituted more than half the population of South Carolina and Mississippi, and more than 40 percent in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana by 1970. Mississippi was the only state that maintained an African American representation above 30 percent.

By 1920, however, a large percentage of the African American population was concentrated in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

Today, the effects of the great migration can be seen in the music we hear, the foods we eat, the politics that govern this country, and even the look and feel of the cities throughout the U.S. What was The Great Migration? What started it? Where did it occur and when? How did The Great Migration change/affect life in places where blacks were migrating from and where they migrated to? What changes can we still see in America today as a result of The Great Migration? What effect did it have on the Blacks who decided to stay and not join the migration? What connections does this have to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird? Not all the changes associated with the Great Migration were beneficial. The mas-migration from the South and sudden expansion of African-American communities in the North intensified racial tension in both regions. Southerners feared the loss of black labor and white northerners saw African-American migrants as competition in the labor market.
In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” differences in social status are explored. The rigid social divisions that make of the adult world are both irrational and destructive. African Americans contended with the same and harsher issues of inequality before, during, and even after the great migration. What was the Harlem Renaissance? Where did it occur and who/what did it involve? Name some major people/results of it? The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke.

Harlem Renaissance occurred during the period from the end of World War I and through the middle of the 1930s Depression, during which a group of talented African-American writers produced a sizable body of literature in four prominent genres: poetry, fiction, drama, and essay. Common themes of alienation, marginality, the use of folk material, the use of the blues tradition, and the everyday problems infuses the writings of the Harlem Culture.

The notion of "twoness" , a divided awareness of one's identity, was introduced by W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the founders of the “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” and the author of the influential book The Souls of Black Folks (1903): “One ever feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two un-reconciled stirrings: two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder”.

The Harlem Renaissance was more than just a literary movement: it included racial consciousness, "the back to Africa" movement led by Marcus Garvey, racial integration, the explosion of music particularly jazz, spirituals and blues, painting, dramatic revues, and others. How did the Harlem Renaissance change life for blacks in America? Can we still see evidence of it in America today? If so, how / where? 1920 - Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Convention held at Madison Square Garden.

1922 - First Anti-Lynching legislation approved by House of Representatives. Publications of The Book of American Negro Poetry edited by James Weldon Johnson; Claude McKay, Harlem Shadows.

1923 - Louis Armstrong in Chicago and Duke Ellington in New York began their music careers.

1927 - The First Pan African Congress organized by W.E.B. Du Bois in Paris comes to New York.

1929 - Wallace Thurman's play Harlem, written with William Jourdan Rapp, opens at the Apollo Theater on Broadway and becomes hugely successful.

1930 - The Green Pastures (musical), with an all-black cast, opened on Broadway, February 26.

Today African American writers, actors, artist, politicians, and even everyday people have been positively affected by the influences of the renaissance movement. The most notable one being the election of African-American Barack Obama for a first and second term as President of the United States. Does it go against what many people in America believed about Blacks at the time/today? If so how?

In the early 20th century it was a common belief that "blacks" did not posses the intelligence to thrive in the arts, politics, etc. and be productive agents in society. Today, however, it is well known that that is not the case and Africans are thriving in the arts, politics, literature, performing arts, education, and in the corporate world.



How did the Harlem Renaissance affect the politics of the decades leading up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s?


The politics as we can see in the above dates were affected greatly and ultimately with positive end results. Today we Americans, enjoy the freedoms of this nation no matter the culture, race, or religion. The Black Church
The Rise of the Church in the Southern Black Community and in Educating and Organizing Black Communities for Civil Rights What were some of the earliest Black churches in the U.S.? Who started/founded them? Give some history of some of these pioneering churches including dates, locations, Christian denominations, and early church leaders? Most of the first black congregations and churches formed before 1800 were founded by free blacks in Philadelphia, PA. Petersburg, VA. and Savannah, GA. The oldest black Baptist church in Kentucky, and third oldest in the United States, was founded about 1790 by the slave Peter Durrett.
In protest against segregation, a group of African Americans and Ethiopian merchants form the Abyssinian Baptist Church led by Clayton Powell Sr. and Jr.

During the Harlem Renaissance the church's membership rose from 3,000 in the 1920s to 7,000 in the 1930s becoming the largest protestant congregation in the United States.

Under the leadership of the Powells the church became a powerful social and political organization. What role did Black churches (particularly in the South) play after the Civil War in educating African Americans? How did singing in the church help reading and literacy? Discuss “call and response” and early Negro Spirituals. African American churches have long been the centers of communities, serving as school sites in the early years after the Civil War, taking up social welfare functions, such as providing for the indigent, and going on to establish schools, orphanages and prison ministries. As a result, black churches have fostered built strong community organizations and provided spiritual and political leadership, especially during the civil rights movement. What role did the Black churches play in organizing the Civil Rights Movement for Blacks in the U.S.? Who were some of the famous Civil Rights activists connected that were also church leaders? Explain how the Black church was critical to educating and organizing Blacks in the South after the Civil War. Black churches held a leadership role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Their history as centers of strength for the black community's made them natural leaders in this moral struggle. In addition they had often served as links between the black and white worlds.

Notable minister-activists of the 1950s and 1960s included Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, Bernard Lee, Fred Shuttlesworth, Wyatt Tee Walker and C. T. Vivian. The Evolution of Black Music
Negro Spirituals/Field Music to Modern Day Hip-Hop Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol/performed by Billie Holliday What were the early forms of Black music? What were its roots and how was it evolving in slaves in the U.S.? During this time period, the musical style of blacks was becoming more and more attractive to whites. White novelists, dramatists and composers started to exploit the musical tendencies and themes of African-Americans in their works.

Composers used poems written by African American poets in their songs, and would implement the rhythms, harmonies and melodies of African-American music—such as blues, spirituals, and jazz—into their concert pieces.

Negros began to merge with Whites into the classical world of musical composition.

The first Negro male to gain wide recognition as a concert artist in both his region and internationally was Roland Hayes. He trained with Arthur Calhoun in Chattanooga, and at Fisk University in Nashville. Later, he studied with Arthur Hubbard in Boston and with George Henshel and Amanda Ira Aldridge in London, England. He began singing in public as a student, and toured with the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1911. What were the messages and what was the power of Black music to its people in America, especially early on? During the Harlem Renaissance, artists and writers wanted to use their craft to record the history of their struggles and establish an identity.

While as a whole they did not actively seek acceptance and respect by the majority community, some did hope that it would be an eventual byproduct of the movement What has been the evolution of Black music from its roots to modern day styles such as hip hop? How has it influenced other kinds of music that has become popular in America? Who were some of the most influential pioneers of it throughout its history From the smooth sound of jazz to the heart pounding beats of Hip Hop, the music that stemmed from the Harlem Renaissance is as much a part of today's culture as it was in the early 20th century.

While Hip Hop expresses its message through the lyrics of rapping, the Harlem Renaissance accomplished this mainly through literature and poetry. This is very interesting in that there was a reversal in the way music and poetry went together.

While the messages of the Harlem Renaissance were messages of the trials and tribulations of everyday life as African Americans, the Hip Hop Movement used music and the spoken word as a way to combat violence on the streets, emphasize peace, and promote non- violent confrontation of ideas, beliefs, and practices. "Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who released her first recording of it in 1939, the year she first sang it.

Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans.

Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States.

The writer, Abel, set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden. Strange Fruit Langston Hughes, a prolific poet of the Harlem Renaissance, used his poetry to express music. likewise, rappers during the Hip Hop Movement and presently use music to express their own brand of poetry.


Presentation By: Alexis Toledo The End
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