The Great Migration of African American’s in the United States of America During the Early 20th Century and its Effects During the Modern Day
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“The Great Migration of the U.S. witnessed astonishingly large and frequent waves of African Americans moving from rural areas into cities, leaving the south toward the industrial north and west, from the early 20th century until the late 1970’s. Pittsburgh, United States of America, Detroit, United States of America, New York City, United States of America, and Chicago, United States of America were the main cities, but some even ventured as far west as Los Angeles, United States of America.
The 19th century and prior was an awful period in the U.S. for African Americans, subjected to slavery and forced labor, lynching’s, and chain gangs. World War I provided the opportunity for a better life for many as it cut off the flow of European immigrants and by extension of that, labor which resulted in northern factories exclusively recruiting African American labor. As new migrants, the most menial jobs were all that was available, forcing migrants to work in factories, kitchens, and as domestic servants. One of the main drawbacks of migrating north was that the rural support system of the south was lost so when people went to work, no one was left behind to watch after their children as had been the case previously in the south.
Because migrants did not have access to even the most basic services, (e.g. healthcare or job employment etc.) they were forced to find services within their local community church. Many churches started specialized programs to meet the demand of the needs of those who had arrived in the north with virtually nothing. This tradition has continued into the modern day with African American Churches providing a unique relationship between members of its congregations, a spiritual, physical, and emotional support system as it were. This began the seeds of the mega church movement (e.g. 5000 – 10,000+ members).
In New York City, Adam Clayton Powell Sr., responded to what was referred to as “social gospel” by offering classes teaching others to read, tailoring, and other educational extracurricular activities open to anyone. This was designed to help elevate those who had no method of pulling themselves up socioeconomically.
New migrants sometimes faced disapproving attitudes from the old and already established African Americans of the north. Southern African American Churches were not as ridged as”