For centuries, it has been wandering their home countries in search of a better life elsewhere by Americans. For instance, during the Gold Rush of the 1850s, people who came to California with dreams of finding mineral wealth were 100,000 Americans from all over the country.
However, the Gold Rush – and all other cross-border mass migrations – were dwarfed by the Great Exodus (or called Great Migration) which was maybe the most important demographic shift in the past of American.
Ranging from 1915 to 1970, it was moved from their homes in the south of America with dreams of a life with better conditions in the country’s northern cities by an approximate 6 million Black all genders.
What caused so many of these Black Southerners to start this difficult journey into an uncertain future? Why was he leaving such a powerful gesture? And how did these personal decisions switch America forever?
Through the real-life stories of three immigrants, it is investigated in this summary the social, historical, and personal forces behind the Great Migration. There is the determined Ida Mae Gladney who left a communal farm in Mississippi for the city of Chicago in the 1930s; Entrepreneur George Starling, who fled Florida and went to New York in the 1940s; And avid Robert Foster, who concentrated on a better future, took him to Los Angeles in the 1950s, where he became a popular doctor.
Chapter 1 – What owned many reasons, sources, and goals was The Great Migration.
Imagine that you are a black American, so, probabilities are high that the strings of the connection between the Great Migration and the fabric of your family tale interlocked.
Ranging from approximately 1915 to 1970, it was moved from their houses in South America to begin a fresh life in the North by an estimated six million Black human beings. Whether they traveled themselves or viewed their relatives and friends depart, with the move, nearly all Black Americans were influenced, and moreover, the countenance of the country was switched.
Even though what is the largest and most important transborder exodus in the US date is the Great Migration, it continues an under-studied and frequently presented wrongly phenomenon because of several causes. That it is not a united, single-aim, organized movement is the very concrete of these things.
The people who did not see themselves as part of a movement were Black people from Southerners who immigrated to the northlands. After all, every person in this group owned complicated reasons why they are going. These reasons can be that either they were sick of residing like second-class national, afraid of totally lynching, avoiding personal trouble, or charmed with stories of cash and liberty from employers, buddies, and families in the North.
Jim Crow laws were one predominant cause for the mass emigration of Black people of the South. Following the official abolition of slavery in 1865, it was found by the Southern states that many ways to prevent Blacks from applying their fresh achieved liberty.
Because of these measures that named “Jim Crow” after a beloved show figure, Black people were forbidden from using similar buildings, services, and stores like whites. They strengthened common agricultural practices that left black farmers in debt to white farm owners and were utilized to lend support for the terriblely lynching of blacks by white gangs.
And so, the people who fled from everywhere of the South such as from cotton-wool fields in Mississippi, smoke (or named tobacco) plantations in Virginia, and sultry cities in Alabama to Northlands big cities like Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia for a better life were Black ones.
Another important effect was fighting. Over World War I, the exit from the South was combined with a northward pull. Because of the war, it induced workforce deficiencies in many cities in the North and now began sending recruiters to demand inexpensive Black workforce over the South. When the movement started, it only earned acceleration and reached its peak anew as of World War II.
In the coming sections, the true-life tales of three immigrants from three distinctive gadgets of the Great Migration: George Swanson Starling, Ida Mae Brandon Gladley, and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster will be observed by us.
Chapter 2 – People who left Mississippi farms for better pay and safety were Ida Mae and her family.
It was the summer of 1928 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, and Ida Mae had become a young woman. Although she had always been a bit of a tomboy, now, at the age of 16, the boys were beginning to notice the little, fearless farmer’s daughter. Presently, a quiet young man called George came to her house each Sunday trying to win his hand by getting married.
Ida Mae’s mother, a pragmatic woman named Miss Theenie, was not very happy with her daughter’s suitor. Several of his children had already migrated north and required all the aid she could find on the farm.
However, George’s determination finally won both mother and girl, and in October 1929 the young couple married. Presently, they were hired as sharecroppers and moved into a small house on a cotton plantation owned by a man called Edd Pearson. The deal was that George and Ida Mae would look after the cotton areas throughout the year and hand over the yields for Mr. Edd to sell.
Per year at the time of settlement, shareholders were assumed to receive their dividends. In practice, but this calculation mixed what they “owed” the white plantation owner for land, house, fertilizer, and everything else he would treat as expenses. Eventually, most shareholders left these settlements empty-handed. It was felt a bit more fortunate with Mr. Edd by Ida Mae and George because he generally gave them a little amount of money.
Still, Ida Mae was not very great at selecting cotton and the Great Depression was paying off. The couple discovered it increasingly difficult to promote themselves and their two young kids.
Later, in 1937, things got tougher. A white woman accused George’s cousin of stealing her turkey. A group of white men followed down his cousins, tied him to a pig, and attacked him mercilessly. Although he survived the night, he never was himself again. For George, that was the last straw. They would finally leave behind the exploitation and violence of the racist South and try their luck in the North, in Illinois, where George’s brother and Ida Mae’s sister live.
At first, what Ida Mae was reluctant to do was leave her mother and younger sister behind. However, George had decided on both. Therefore, they waited for their next deal to gather money for their big journey. And in the fall of 1937, the young family got into an overcrowded Jim Crow car on the Northbound train and set out for a fresh life.
Chapter 3 – It fled Florida to escape persecution for labor organizations by George Starling.
The person who grew up on his father’s cotton and tobacco land in Florida Eustis was George Starling. However, he envisioned a diverse life for himself. He desired to go to college – a pretty big image for a Southern Black boy in the 1930s.
George was an excellent student, and after being one of the few children to graduate from an all-Black high school, he was allowed into the Agricultural and Mechanical State College in Tallahassee.
George loved his novel student life in Florida. However, his father never really understood the purpose of this education. Therefore, when he was in his second grade, his father told him that he could no longer afford the tuition. George was angry.
Despite her father, he decided to marry her high school sweetheart Inez. However, now he had a wife to promote, and so he had no selection but to return to Eustis, like many other black youths in Florida, he got a job picking oranges and grapefruits.
Moreover, to this, he took all sorts of odd jobs he could discover. He planned to earn sufficient money to send Inez to beauty school so that he could finally continue his education as well. He spent several months working at the Chrysler factory in Detroit one summer during WWII.
When he got back, working circumstances in the South quickly felt unbearable. Fruit pickers, for instance, were paid only a few cents per fruit box, although they had to climb trees dangerously for their work. It was decided by George to begin working on the farms again and lead a strike to his fellow foragers to demand a higher price for their precarious work. The labor shortage that arose as a result of the Second World War worked in their favor; The plantation owners had no selection but to meet their demands.
It was begun by George to gain a reputation as a troublemaker after organizing multiple strikes in diverse fields. His friends and family were particularly worried that one of these white plantation owners would finally take terrible revenge.
That’s when it was decided by him it was time to move from Florida forever. He would try his opportunity in New York and send it to Inez after settling down.
It was traveled by George lightly and quietly to avoid suspicion. He got on the Silver Meteor train along the east coast and watched the “white” and “colored” markings on the wagons empty as the train crossed the invisible line north. In the north, the train was no longer separated. That’s when he realized he was going to make the correct decision.
Chapter 4 – The person who left Louisiana to promote his career without the constraints of Jim Crow was Pershing Foster.
In the 1930s, the Foster family was recognized by everyone in Monroe, Louisiana.
Madison Foster was the head of the regional Black high school, and his wife Ottie was a longtime teacher in this place. The Fosters were a high-opinion and avid couple, although doing less than half of what white teachers in the field won. Madison, who was their eldest son, was sent to medical school, an amazing feat for a Black family in the South, and had evenly high expectations for his younger brother Pershing.
Although Pershing was a great student, growing up in the darkness of his smart sibling was not always simple. Due to his wanting of differentiating himself, he enhanced an enthusiastic, extroverted attraction that would later unlock many doors for him.
Because of some pressure from his family, he was sent to Atlanta in 1937 to join the prestigious, all-Black Morehouse College. There he not only exceeded his bachelor degree education but also influenced the hearts of the College chairman’s girl, Alice Clement.
Later, they made a wedding and got married, and Alice bred two daughters. Unfortunately, Pershing could not see much of his young family over the following few years. After Morehouse, he went to Meharry Medical College in Nashville and left Alice with his family in Atlanta.
Following medical school, he had to report for military obligation in Texas and was ultimately settled in a field in Austria. There he got fame being an attractive and smart young surgeon.
When he came back to Louisiana, the foolishness of Jim Crow constraints in the South drew him attention. He was a great military surgeon abroad. However, he was not even permitted to practice at the regional hospital in Fort Polk, where he was discharged.
He felt it was time to go, and he had an area in his brain: Los Angeles. Hollywood charm appeared well suited to her noisy personality. And in California, he would have the liberty to be as perfect at his work since he desired.
Pershing departed lonely by car in the summer of 1953. He only had a dollar in his pocket when he entered Los Angeles. However, his heart was entire of hope – this was an area where he could guide the life he desired. He even switched his name to drop the last remnants of its southern culture. From now on, he would be called Robert Pershing Foster.
Chapter 5 – In Chicago, the person who became a member of the novel civic Black employee class was Ida Mae.
When it was walked from the train terminal to Chicago’s busy streets by Ida Mae for the initial time, the city seemed “paradise” to her. She had never observed so many human beings at the same time!
For presently, but Chicago was not the last target for Ida Mae and her young family. They were going to Milwaukee, where her sister would pick them up.
For several months, the family made a trial to place down in Milwaukee. Unluckily, they had reached the height of the Great Depression. This described that even the hard, low-salary works in steel mills and abattoirs that were typically proposed to Black immigrants became limited.
When Ida Mae returned to Mississippi for a few months to breed her third and last child, it was decided to try her fortune in Chicago by George. He got work helping an ice seller, and the average salary permitted him to rent a one-bedroom cellarage flat in the city. He was followed by Ida Mae and the kids quickly thereafter.
At the time, so many Black immigrants were coming to Chicago that the town was crowded. The white neighborhoods have closed themselves, which suggested fresh strangers had to move from one small, high-expensive apartment to another.
Moreover, newcomers from the South were not welcomed by white employee-class aliens and Northern-born Black human-beings. By many of them, it worked like servants, cleaners, porters, and housemaids on the service businesses – they were not very happy with the added race.
Southern women had a particularly hard time finding jobs hence they were viewed as being less proper for industrial jobs than men, and both unschooled. Some were pushed to trade their employment in virtual “slave markets” on street edges, and white women offered to do housework for as little as 15 cents an hour.
Eventually, the person who got work as a hospital assistant at Walther Memorial on Chicago’s West End was Ida Mae. Presently, a little nicer flat was relocated and settled into their fresh town life by her and George.
It did not appear as they lived much more comfortably than before. However, in the South, they made some intangible earnings they could never have dreamed. For instance, in the 1940 presidential election between Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Republican rival, the person who balloted for the initial time in her life was Ida Mae.
Chapter 6 – The person who witnessed the Great Migration was George who operated as a worker in charge of a train in New York.
The place that was not similar to anything George Starling had seen before was New York Harlem. First established as a community of ex-slaves in the nineteenth century, when it reached New York in 1945, it occurred at the core of Black cultural life.
And even apartments are crowded and living expenses are costly, Harlem’s lively street life made George assume liberation for the initial time. After staying at his aunt’s house for a while, he managed to get work on the railroad and quickly found his small flat in the neighborhood.
George was now operating as a person in charge of trains on trains, just like he bought them from Florida. For decades, he visited between the North and South several times a week, escorting thousands of immigrants like him on their trip.
His formal duty was to assist individuals with their baggage and indicate them up to their sitting places. However, he served twice as an advisor and guided for the fresh globe to Black immigrants from the South by him. He was also amazed at everything they brought with them from the Old Village. Once it was carried a large watermelon in her hat-box by an older woman.
Inez attended to George a few months after his arrival in New York and promptly got a job as a nurse. Quickly the couple lived with their two kids named Gerard and Sonya in a small flat in Harlem.
Although his work steadily recalled him of his stems, George was terrified of traveling the South for a long time. In December 1951, he took a painful reminder not of why he left. A bomb planted in the home of Harry Moore killed him who was a friend from Eustis, a past NAACP promoter.
The severity and terror of the Jim Crow South never actually left George. He would keep going to retreat into the system in little, straight ways in his daily life. For instance, when the urban rights movement was in whole motion, it was used by him for his work to raise funds for some reason. And after the 1964 Civil Rights Act eventually banned discrimination in all fields of civil life, Black passengers on the train were promoted to demand their rights to fair treatment by George.
Chapter 7 – Robert’s name was heard in Los Angeles as a well-known and respected doctor.
Although Robert quickly fell in love with Los Angeles, he faced some initial challenges in the fresh globe before discovering his way like many Black newcomers from the South.
Initially, he had to earn sufficient money to transport his wife and daughters to California. And after a few years living in Alice’s family villa in Atlanta, he understood they expected some comfort.
Robert’s primary work was as a medical inspector at a Black insurance firm – a job well under his specialty. Fundamentally, his job was to get around Los Angeles and gather urine samples from the firm’s clients.
Yet thanks to his attractiveness, he has built a patient base of his own, using much of this humiliating work to appeal. When it was felt by him that he had a fixed base for his medical practice, he rented office space and a modest flat and asked his wife and kids to eventually attend him.
However, when they came, Robert and his wife had to take into account that during their 12-year marriage, they didn’t spend much time together. Aside from receiving fancy dinner parties for the novel Los Angeles social circles, they had limited general field of interests.
Unlike his difficult marriage, Robert’s career was enhancing. Individuals from all over Los Angeles were coming to be healed by him. Now it could be afforded by him a large, luxurious home for his family, and deal with more meaningless things like buying a Cadillac and gambling.
His fame kept going to grow. For example, one night in 1961, a panicked woman made a phone call with Robert: her husband cut his hand badly on a glass desk and was missing a terrible amount of blood. It turned out that the woman’s husband was none other than the excellent Ray Charles. Robert straightened the popular musician’s hand and even escorted him on his next round to heal the wound. It ended like this in Ray Charles’s song Hide nor Hair from 1962:
However, since she left, I haven’t seen my hiding ‘nor the hair of my baby. If Dr. Foster caught her, and later, I comprehend I’m done because he has drugs and money.
Thanks to Ray Charles’ song, Robert and his achievement tale were immortalized. He came from a Southern town that did not permit him to practice his ability and became one of Hollywood’s most prosperous surgeons.
Chapter 8 – For most Black Southerners, the North was not the light-hearted country of their images.
It was left Jim Crow South in hopes of a better life in Northern cities by black newcomers such as Ida Mae, George, and Robert. This described that they had to quit behind everything they apprehended, often involving elderly family members, friends, and sometimes even spouses.
However, it was believed everything was greater than where they began by them like most other immigrants.
This does not suggest that life is full of sunshine and roses when they arrive at their target (Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles).
At many spots during the Great Migration, however, particularly during the two globe wars, it was actively demanded Black workers from the South by Northern towns. However, on arrival, the individuals who did not fully get a hot welcome were the Black employees.
Although the businesses they received in the town – mostly as industry and service employees – were paid a little better than in the South, were just as tiring. In addition, many towns, such as Chicago, quickly began to struggle under the weight of so many newcomers. It was lived by most Southern immigrants in stuffy, very expensive apartments in all-Black neighborhoods. And as white workers were not particularly keen to share their living spaces, cities like Chicago and New York shifted – informally – as separated as the South.
And, of course, every migrant had their own, unique stories of failure, loss, and heartbreak.
And well sure, what has each immigrant was matchless tales of mistake, loss, and heartbreak.
It was experienced by Ida Mae firsthand the devaluation of the Black neighborhoods in Chicago in the late 1960s when her family eventually got a fine home on the South Side of the town. Their white neighbors left the area one by one shortly after they moved, inducing welfare worth to fall magnificently. In the 1990s, this once-middle-class neighborhood was signalized by misery and the resulting offense and drugs.
In New York, it was tackled by George with his anger at the South and his thoughtless marriage to Inez. What brought with it, it’s part of issues for the family was the town. His son Gerard got caught up in the wrong crowd and will later tackle pill addiction for the rest of his life.
In Robert’s situation, his seemingly accomplished, head-notch lifestyle disguised a dull marriage and a lifetime inferiority complex. Towards the final of his career, it would be gambled by him so terribly that it was not uncommon for him to gain or lose ten thousand dollars overnight.
Furthermore, their judgment was not regretted by any of them.
Chapter 9 – For many Black Southerners, what was a statement of liberty was leaving the South.
By the end of the Great Migration in the 1970s, people who lived in the North were almost half of all Black Americans – only 10 percent when the movement started. In Chicago alone, the Black society has grown from 44,000 to over a million.
Therefore, was it all deserving of it? Were the Black immigrants who left the South in the North better off? Examining increasing welfare and offense levels in northern cities, as great as house crises and revolts, by many social scientists, it was ended up that the response was “no”.
However, it does not take into account these analyzes of intense individual meaning the action has for many Black Americans.
While the North was not the guaranteed country they dreamed of, it was regretted by few Black Southerners their judgment to leave. For many, the basic act of leaving the South was a powerful statement of their freedom as American civilians – a status they had just lately been given and something that many whites in the South actively denied.
Eventually, a sense of aim and the research of well-being will overbear the losses, mistakes, and disappointments along with the path. And despite their lives were complete setbacks, those who were in the ascendant were Robert, George, and Ida Mae.
After a long and glorious career, Robert died in 1997, quitting behind two accomplished girls. He was so determined to declare the fresh North identification that he never turned back to the South and was embedded in Los Angeles.
By George, it was only handled to survive in the South. Although he felt safe enough to revisit the Old Country in the following years, it always made him feel uneasy. He died in 1998.
Ida Mae survived both, maybe the reason for it that the happiest one of the three was her. Although she adapted to the North as required, the South never forgot its heritage. Despite living in Chicago till her death in 2004 and for more than 60 years, she was still talking with an insider Mississippi contention.
The individuals who are just three of the millions of Black immigrants from the South who take their destinies into their own hands are Robert Foster, George Starling, and Ida Mae Gladney. Over 60 years and two world wars will unite, personal judgments to convert the American demographic view, culture, and community.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson Book Review
What was the most important mass migration in American history was the Great Migration. For nearly 60 years, it was left their homes in Jim Crow South to live in Northern cities such as New York, Chicago, and LA by six million Black men, women, and kids. Although each had their reasons for leaving, their moves made a change in the United States forever. While many didn’t discover the carefree life, they imagined in the North, few regretted leaping forward. For many Black Southerners, immigration was a claim of their liberty.