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A Century of Negro Migration   By: (1875-1950)

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[Transcriber's note: The spelling inconsistencies of the original are preserved in this etext.]

A CENTURY OF NEGRO MIGRATION

Carter G. Woodson

TO MY FATHER

JAMES WOODSON

WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO ENTER THE LITERARY WORLD

A CENTURY OF NEGRO MIGRATION

PREFACE

In treating this movement of the Negroes, the writer does not presume to say the last word on the subject. The exodus of the Negroes from the South has just begun. The blacks have recently realized that they have freedom of body and they will now proceed to exercise that right. To presume, therefore, to exhaust the treatment of this movement in its incipiency is far from the intention of the writer. The aim here is rather to direct attention to this new phase of Negro American life which will doubtless prove to be the most significant event in our local history since the Civil War.

Many of the facts herein set forth have seen light before. The effort here is directed toward an original treatment of facts, many of which have already periodically appeared in some form. As these works, however, are too numerous to be consulted by the layman, the writer has endeavored to present in succinct form the leading facts as to how the Negroes in the United States have struggled under adverse circumstances to flee from bondage and oppression in quest of a land offering asylum to the oppressed and opportunity to the unfortunate. How they have often been deceived has been carefully noted.

With the hope that this volume may interest another worker to the extent of publishing many other facts in this field, it is respectfully submitted to the public.

CARTER G. WOODSON.

Washington, D.C., March 31, 1918.

CONTENTS

I. Finding a Place of Refuge

II. A Transplantation to the North

III. Fighting it out on Free Soil

IV. Colonization as a Remedy for Migration

V. The Successful Migrant

VI. Confusing Movements

VII. The Exodus to the West

VIII. The Migration of the Talented Tenth

IX. The Exodus during the World War

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

MAPS AND DIAGRAMS

Map Showing the Per Cent of Negroes in Total Population, by States: 1910

Diagram Showing the Negro Population of Northern and Western Cities in 1900 and 1910

Maps Showing Counties in Southern States in which Negroes Formed 50 Per Cent of the Total Population

CHAPTER I

FINDING A PLACE OF REFUGE

The migration of the blacks from the Southern States to those offering them better opportunities is nothing new. The objective here, therefore, will be not merely to present the causes and results of the recent movement of the Negroes to the North but to connect this event with the periodical movements of the blacks to that section, from about the year 1815 to the present day. That this movement should date from that period indicates that the policy of the commonwealths towards the Negro must have then begun decidedly to differ so as to make one section of the country more congenial to the despised blacks than the other. As a matter of fact, to justify this conclusion, we need but give passing mention here to developments too well known to be discussed in detail. Slavery in the original thirteen States was the normal condition of the Negroes. When, however, James Otis, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson began to discuss the natural rights of the colonists, then said to be oppressed by Great Britain, some of the patriots of the Revolution carried their reasoning to its logical conclusion, contending that the Negro slaves should be freed on the same grounds, as their rights were also founded in the laws of nature.[1] And so it was soon done in most Northern commonwealths.

Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts exterminated the institution by constitutional provision and Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania by gradual emancipation acts.[2] And it was thought that the institution would soon thereafter pass away even in all southern commonwealths except South Carolina and Georgia, where it had seemingly become profitable... Continue reading book >>




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