Black Protest and the Great Migration: A Brief History with Documents / Edition 1

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During World War I, as many as half a million southern African Americans permanently left the South to create new homes and lives in the urban North, and hundreds of thousands more would follow in the 1920s. This dramatic transformation in the lives of many black Americans involved more than geography: the increasingly visible “New Negro” and the intensification of grassroots black activism in the South as well as the North were the manifestations of a new challenge to racial subordination. Eric Arnesen’s unique collection of articles from a variety of northern, southern, black, and white newspapers, magazines, and books explores the “Great Migration,” focusing on the economic, social, and political conditions of the Jim Crow South, the meanings of race in general — and on labor in particular — in the urban North, the grassroots movements of social protest that flourished in the war years, and the postwar “racial counterrevolution.” An introduction by the editor, headnotes to documents, a chronology, questions for consideration, a bibliography, and an index are included.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312391294
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 394,264
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Arnesen is professor of history and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A specialist in African American labor history and issues of race and labor, he is the author of Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality (2001), which received the Wesley-Logan Prize in Diaspora History from the American Historical Association and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, won Distinguished Honors from the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Committee, and was selected as an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice. His book Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923 (1991) received the John H. Dunning Prize in American History from the American Historical Association. He is also coeditor of Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Working-Class Experience (1998). His numerous articles have appeared in journals such as the American Historical Review, International Labor and Working-Class History, International Review of Social History, Labor History, and the Radical History Review. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for the Humanities and Great Cities Institute.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Introduction : "the great American protest" 1
Origins of the great migration 1
Wartime opportunities in the north 7
The promised land? 11
Wartime black leaders, the new Negro, and grassroots politics 18
Racial violence and the postwar reaction to black activism 29
Consequences of the migration 35
Pt. 2 The documents 45
1 The great migration begins 45
The migration of Negroes, June 1917 46
The Negro exodus : a Southern woman's view, March 18, 1917 50
How much is the migration a flight from persecution? : September 1923 54
1100 Negroes desert Savannah, Georgia, August 11, 1916 58
Luring labor north, August 22, 1916 59
Negroes urged to remain in south, November 25, 1916 61
Negro migration, August 1, 1917 62
2 The promised land? 67
The arrival in Chicago, 1922 67
Read this before you move north, April 5, 1917 72
Negroes a source of industrial labor, August 1918 74
The Negro in the north, June 4, 1917 78
The massacre of east St. Louis, September 1917 80
Thousands march in silent protest, August 4, 1917 85
3 The evolution of black politics 87
The patriotism of the Negro, May 4, 1917 88
Close ranks, July 1918 89
Negro conscription, October 20, 1917 90
Protest to Boston Herald, April 20, 1918 93
Houston : an NAACP investigation, November 1917 94
Racial clashes, July 26, 1919 96
League asks full manhood rights, May 19, 1917 98
The heart of the south, May 1917 99
Reconstruction and the Negro, February 1919 103
Migration and political power, July 1918 106
What we believe, January 1, 1924 and The principles of the universal Negro improvement association, November 25, 1922 107
New leadership for the Negro, May-June 1919 113
If we must die, September 1919 115
The new Negro, June 2, 1920 117
Letter to president Woodrow Wilson, May 29, 1918 123
Campaign for women nearing its close, November 1, 1917 124
Negro women seek permission to vote, November 3, 1920 126
4 Black workers and the wartime home front 128
Trades unions, March 1918 129
From Alabama : colored miners anxious for organization, June 1, 1916 132
The Birmingham case, 1918 134
Negro organizer tarred, Tune, 14, 1918 138
Negro strikers return to work, October 3, 1918 139
Colored women of Houston organize, May 6, 1916 140
Negro washerwomen to have union wage scale, October 10, 1918 141
Workers strike in laundries to get higher pay, April 23, 1918 141
Negro women are under arrest in laundry strike, April 25, 1918 143
Negro women living in idleness must go to work or to jail, October 17, 1918 144
Negroes to demand work at Charleston navy yard, May 19, 1917 145
5 Opportunities and obstacles in the postwar era 147
Views and reviews : now comes the test, November 23, 1918 147
Reconstruction and the colored woman, January 1919 151
Letters from the U.S. Department of Labor case files, 1919 154
Bogalusa, January 1920 159
Colored labor delegation demands rights in Alabama, February 28, 1920 164
Negroes in the unions, August 1925 165
The rights of the black man, August 2, 1919 166
Race riots in Chicago, July 28, 1919 168
Chicago in the nation's race strife, August 9, 1919 169
Slowly restore order today in riot districts, October 3, 1919 172
The race conflict in Arkansas, December 13, 1919 173
How the Arkansas peons were freed, July 28, 1923 177
6 Postwar migration 180
"Chi" Negroes ask to return to Mississippi, August 1, 1919 181
Negroes who come to south are better off, August 24, 1919, and find the southern Negro prosperous, October 5, 1919 182
Why southern Negroes don't go south, November 29, 1919 184
Mighty exodus continues; cause not economic, July 22, 1920 189
These "colored" United States, December 1923 190
Negro migration : its effect on family and community life in the north, October 1924 193
The new Negro, 1925 198
App Chronology of events related to the great migration (1865-1925) 204
App Questions for consideration 206
App: Selected bibliography 207
Index 213
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