Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blacks Massive Migration as Shown in the New York Times, june 1879

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro
Massive migrations produce changes in the city. Most ghost towns are the result of people leaving, due to different issues, as nuclear plants damages, lack of jobs, civil wars, etc. In years, the urban morphology is highly affected.
A few days ago, my post showed some similarities between migrations of black people from Haiti with a fiction story by Ray Bradbury.
The Great Migration was the movement of 4.1 million African Americans  out of the Southern United States to the North, Midwest,and West from 1910 to 1930. Precise estimates of the number of migrants depend on the time frame. African Americans migrated to escape racism and seek employment  opportunities in industrial cities. Some historians differentiate between the First Great Migration (1910–40), numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and the Second Great Migration, from 1940–70. In the Second Migration, 5 million or more people relocated, with the migrants moving to more new destinations. Many moved from Texas and Lousiana to California  where there were jobs in the defense industry.(From
What I´ve found today is an astonishing description of the current events in Southern USA at the end of SXIX. It is a real publication dated June 9, 1879 in the New York Times, a transcription from the Philadelphia Record May 31, 1879; 31 years before the Great Migration.
The link is below for them who want to read it all, be prepared, it is full of racists hard words. Ray Bradbury wrote his story in 1950. It seems that this is a never ending story. Words are changed in 2010, but they have the same essence.
It seems this particular migration was related to politicians, apparently Republicans were encouraging Black workers against the Democratic representations. The loss of workers was considered worst than having a plague of yellow fever. The paradox, if rebels were killed, they would be heroes.
These are some excerpts from the New York Times publication. The article is ¨Loss of labor to the South. Enumerating some of the serious results to be feared in the southern states. White Planters in danger of ruin.
¨A Philadelphian who has vast interests in Louisiana, and who will therefore be affected by the loss of labor should the negro exodus continue, returned yesterday from an extended trip through the Mississippi Valley. He started from St. Louis and proceeded as far down the Mississippi as NewOrleans, stopping off at many places where there were camps of the colored people.
We in the south, he says, are at a loss to fix exactly where and how this idea of emigrating first came into the colored folks´heads.¨
¨I tell you candidly they could not have struck a more powerful blow at the prosperity of the South¨………If it keeps on it will impoverish the white men.
¨These poor ignorant Negroes have been played upon in the most shameful manner by the men who devised this scheme. They have filled their heads with four things, which the colored people regard as the truth and will not think otherwise: first that they are to be transported free to Kansas or wherever they are to settle; second that the government will give each colored man 160 acres of land; third that the government will give each man two mules; fourth that the government will give them provisions enough to last for one year, or until their crops are harvested next year¨…..¨Even the colored clergymen are imbued with the idea…..the unfortunate people imagine that God has at last named their day of deliverance¨………………
¨Suddenly a planter finds that 30 or 40 of his people ………..have dropped their work and have joined the crowd who expect to go to Kansas¨.
¨If a steamer comes there offering free transportation to the Negroes, she will be fired upon as sure as there is powder and ball in Louisiana and Mississippi ¨.
That´s scary and sad enough to keep on copying………
Caption: The burning of Will Brown's body, Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 18, 1919
Source: NSHS, RG2281-69 This material is taken from a series of pages on the history of racial tensions in Omaha at the following address-

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