The Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis developed for a myriad of reasons. For many, it was the prospect of better employment opportunities; for others it was prospect of better social and educational opportunities for their children. And for yet others the Great Migration was to escape life-threatening oppression.
While this nation - and in fact the world - has benefited from this Migration - jazz, blues, gospel and rhythm and blues are all products of this movement, for people of African-American descent there was sacrifice in making this journey. Family history, family structure, farming skills, economic continuity, cultural integrity - these were all sacrificed in the name of progress.
Join the St. Louis Public Library and History To You as we look at the Great Migration - the conditions in the South that led up to it and examples of what life was like for African-Americans that made the journey through artifacts that speak to this period in history, and a discussion on the social, political, and economic impact the Great Migration has had on this nation, and on the African-American community in particular.