Author Archives: Scott Nesbit

Let’s Look for the Great Migration

Many of the most important social and cultural changes of the twentieth century—industrialization, the Harlem Renaissance, the advent of jazz, the civil rights movement—would not have played out as they did without the Great Migration. Between 1910 and 1930, at least one million African Americans left mostly rural areas of the South and moved to urban centers in the North. Another six million or more followed in the decades after publication of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States. Finding evidence of the first wave of the Great Migration in the 1932 atlas, one might imagine, would be a simple task.

Colored Population, 1900 and 1930

Continue reading