Joanne TunerSadler

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Joanne Tuner-Sadler Essay At the turn of the 20th Century and specifically at the beginning and through the First World War, many African Americans left the South to the North, West, and Midwest region. Indeed, about 2 million African Americans from the South migrated to the North, West, and Midwest in The Great Northern Migration. Notably, there were various reasons that led, propelled, and defined the The Great Northern Migration. Many scholars including seek to explain the causes and dynamics of the The Great Northern Migration to the North, West, and Midwest region. This essay explores these causes in chapter 8 of the book African American History: An Introduction. Ideally, by the early 1900’s, many African-Americans living in the South were tired of suffering from racism and abject poverty in this region and considered migrating to regions with better living conditions. The North, West, and Midwest regions seemingly had more industries, better living conditions, and disregarded racism. As such, many African-Americans living in the South sought refuge in these regions depicting the largest migration in the American history. They viewed these regions especially the North as the Promised Land since the living conditions in the South were oppressive to the African-Americans and favored the whites. The Great Northern Migration had a sole mission of pursuing a better life at the North, West, and Midwest regions. Notably, most people migrated to the North especially in Chicago. The oppressive pre-civil rights at the South engineered the migration of more than 2 million African-Americans who sought better civil rights in other regions at the turn of the 20th Century. Notably, the re-constructing at the South favored the whites and subjected the African Americans to harsh living and economic conditions where the African Americans could barely afford to provide food, shelter, and clothing for their families (Turner-Sadler 117). This led to increased levels of poverty, food-related diseases, fatalities from malnutrition and hunger, and poor accommodation that depressed the African Americans and hence the need to move to regions that can offer a reprieve to this conditions. Furthermore, the African Americans accrued huge debts from the southern whites making them slaves of the latter. Indeed, after the re-constructing the African Americans practiced sharecropping with the whites and worked for the planters and the former owners at meager wages (Turner-Sadler 117). This accelerated their economic problems making them to think of better measures to reinforce their finances. As such, the lack of finances to support their family needs led to the migration of the African-Americans. The African Americans had to do informal and difficult jobs, which offered poor wages and hence denying the Negros resources to provide for the financial needs of their families (Turner-Sadler 117). In fact, there was racial discrimination in offering jobs at the South where the Southern whites enjoyed better employment opportunities to the disadvantage of the African Americans who had to migrate to other regions in search of better and well-paying jobs. In addition, some African Americans suffered exploitation as the southern whites subjected them to free labor (Turner-Sadler 117). The whites could get free labor from the Negros by arresting the latter for lacking jobs and putting them in chain gangs while in prison. The whites would later lease the chain gangs to individuals and private companies where the Negros got nothing as the whites enjoyed the profits (Turner-Sadler 117). This catalyzed the poverty levels and hard feelings among the African Americans thus fostering their migration. Moreover, the southern whites subjected the Negros to hard and dirty labor in the southern companies built by the Northerners. Indeed, the Negros would only do informal jobs as they faced limitations into working in some luxurious and large companies with better working conditions like the textile industries (Turner-Sadler 117). This further jeopardized the way of living among the Negros and hence the idea of migrating to the North, West, and the Midwest. Additionally, the introduction of segregation by the southern whites geared towards separating the African Americans from the whites denied the Negros a chance to access equal political, economic, social opportunities (Turner-Sadler 117). This oppressed the African Americans and created a feeling of isolation. Indeed, the Negros was prone to poor and dilapidated services and products since the segregation affected all sectors in the South (Turner-Sadler 117). Since segregation was illegal in the North, the Negros chose to migrate to the North to avoid the adverse effects of segregation (Turner-Sadler 118). Ultimately, the beginning of the World War 1 created more job opportunities in the North courtesy of the war factories (Turner-Sadler 118). Moreover, the extensive immigration from Europe further enhanced the demand for labor in the North and hence the Great Northern Migration. Actually, by 1914 most African Americans has had enough of the racial discrimination, segregation, and economic challenges in the South and opted to migrate to the North, West, and Midwest in search of better living conditions and equal civil rights (Turner-Sadler 118). Nevertheless, the Southerners tried to discourage them from migrating by allegations of harsh weather conditions at the North and enacting laws that forbid the North, west, and Midwest from recruiting any African American workers from the south (Turner-Sadler 118). They also charged high fees to the recruiters from the Northern companies who sought the services of the African American from the south. Nevertheless, more than 2 million African Americans moved out of the South to the North, west, and Midwest regions in search of a better life. Works Cited Turner-Sadler, Joanne. African American History: An Introduction. Bern: Peter Lang, 2006. Print.