After the Civil War, African Americans were freed from slavery and in the following years, there were many civil rights successes made for the black population of America. While there were successes, there were also drawbacks leading to stark inequality. These disadvantages ultimately led to the Great Migration which spanned about 50 years. This study investigates the causes, effects, and long term results of the Great Migration on African Americans, specifically in Chicago, Illinois. To examine the relationship between the push and pull factors of the Great Migration, many primary and secondary sources were analyzed. Scholarly journals aided in providing an outside view of the movement from historians. Primary sources include many newspaper clippings from the Chicago Defender. There were many letters with accounts of travels and experiences, which greatly contribute to the context of the Great Migration. The motivation to move from the South to the North was encouraged by constant discrimination, low wages, and poor education systems. Cities in the North, like Chicago and Detroit, were popular destinations for African Americans because of employment opportunities. Factories were in need of workers and the black population was willing because of the higher wages. However, discrimination was not obsolete in these areas. In summer of 1919, also known as the Red Summer, there were race riots on the South Side of Chicago because of rising racial tensions. The research conducted exposed multiple first hand accounts, as well as data, and the opinions of some historians. The information gathered suggests that extreme discrimination and overall poor living conditions were the main causes of the Great Migration, resulting in a huge shift in the demographic of certain areas.
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Hansen, Brianna, "The Effects of the Great Migration on Chicago" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 18.