Moving North: African Americans and the Great Migration 1915-1930

Overview

After the Civil War, the South went through a period of rebuilding, termed Recon-struction, but because many white people in the South were not ready to accept African Americans as equals, unfair laws were passed which restricted the rights of blacks. These Black Codes and Jim Crow laws left African Americans adrift in a segregated world.

Life was better in the North in many ways for African Americans. The 1920s brought jobs and money—until The Great Depression hit. The ...

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Overview

After the Civil War, the South went through a period of rebuilding, termed Recon-struction, but because many white people in the South were not ready to accept African Americans as equals, unfair laws were passed which restricted the rights of blacks. These Black Codes and Jim Crow laws left African Americans adrift in a segregated world.

Life was better in the North in many ways for African Americans. The 1920s brought jobs and money—until The Great Depression hit. The Depression left many homeless and jobless. Many blacks left the cities seeking jobs wherever they could find them. Despite the hard times that followed, living in the North continued to bring a renewed sense of freedom to many African Americans.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Between 1915 and 1930 hundreds of thousands of African-Americans migrated from the southern states to the north. During those years black people chose to leave behind their ancestral homes in Dixie in search of a better life in the cities and towns of the northern states. In the factories, mills, and plants of the North these American migrants found employment and a society that demonstrated less overt racism than the land of Jim Crowe and "whites only" facilities where they had previously resided. This movement of people also set the stage for the modern ethnographic realities that still exist in many, if not most, northern cities. In this volume of the National Geographic "Crossroads America" series, youngsters are presented with the story of the influx of African-Americans into the northern portion of the nation. The author of this illustrated book touches upon a number of themes inclusive of the causes of the migration, social upheavals in the North resulting from it, racial intolerance faced by the newcomers, and the establishment of African-American cultural centers in Harlem and other places. Moving North tells the story of these brave-hearted folks in an approachable and comprehensive way. This is a fine historical work and one that chronicles a story that is both important and all too often overlooked. 2006, National Geographic, and Ages 10 to 14.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-The first title moves from a cursory overview of the post-Reconstruction South through the Harlem Renaissance to the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the migration to New York and resulting Harlem Renaissance are addressed above all other topics, and the trends depicted in a map of the population gains and losses of states during the Great Migration are not explained in the accompanying text. Speaking Out illustrates the origins of the Civil Rights Movement in Jim Crow laws, the start of the NAACP, and the end of World War II to the ultimate division between philosophies as seen through Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. The simple text is punctuated by high-quality photographs and bolstered by quotes from important figures discussed on that page. However, while the text is accessible and the artwork evocative, the treatment is oversimplified at times. Ruby Bridges, for example, is not mentioned at all, freedom riders are only seen in a caption, and while it is noted that Malcolm X's life "changed in jail," his religious conversion is not mentioned. While these titles clearly fill a gap for middle-grade titles on events relating to African-American history, they provide only an introduction. Researchers in need of further information or a more gripping description of the realities of either movement will require meatier texts. While few comparable resources about the Great Migration exist, students doing research on civil rights will find Diane McWhorter's A Dream of Freedom (Scholastic, 2004) more substantial.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This new entry in the Crossroads America nonfiction series opens with a question: "Why would someone want to leave everything that was familiar and move to a distant place?" The rest of the volume answers that question, showing why the North attracted African-Americans and demonstrating the effects of the migration on the migrants and the cities they moved to. Quotations from several writers, including Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B. DuBois, are liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Paintings by Jacob Lawrence, well-selected photographs, maps and charts all contribute to a handsome, accessible history for young readers. A glossary is provided but no bibliography and no guide to other resources for young readers. All in all, though, a fine introduction for readers new to the subject. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792282785
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Series: Crossroads America Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 988,233
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica Halpern lives in Boston, MA. Her previous title in this series, Railroad Fever, received a starred review in School Library Journal.
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