The Great Migration An Interactive Study By: Terry Boone Artwork by Jacob Lawrence NEXT
Introduction This is an interactive presentation dealing with the Great Migration that occurred in American history in the early 20th century. It involved a mass movement by black Americans from the predominantly rural, segregated South to the urban North and West. NEXT
Instructions • You will hear the story of Sam, a 13-year old from Edisto, South Carolina, and his/her family’s move to the North in 1916. • As you follow their story, you will be able to take part in some of the family’s decisions which will affect their lives. • Follow the prompts when a decision needs to be made. • Always click on this picture to proceed to the next page
Welcome • Hello, my name is Sam and I live in Edisto, South Carolina. We had a family meeting last night and decided we are moving to the North. We are not sure where we are going to move. We have heard there are a lot of opportunities. My dad is excited.
Where should we go? My dad has narrowed it down to two cities, Pittsburgh or Chicago. Where do you think we should move? Choose one by clicking on the city: Pittsburgh or Chicago
Pittsburgh I am so glad you chose Pittsburgh. Dad has heard there are a lot of jobs there. Since our country is involved in World War I, many factories need workers to provide supplies like machine guns and tanks for the troops. I cannot wait to leave.
Chicago I am so glad you chose Chicago. Dad was tired of working as a sharecropper. He told me that we would never be able to have our own land if we stayed in South Carolina. Although my dad is a hard worker, he is worried that he does not know a trade, but he still says things will be better for us in Chicago.
New Home We arrived at our new home last week. We are still trying to get settled in. We found a small three room apartment on the east side of the city. It is extremely crowded here which is much different from Edisto. I have heard people call where we live a “ghetto”.
New Job Dad is still looking for work, but he has heard the steel factory is hiring. He also heard that a local restaurant is hiring waiters. Which job do you think dad should take? Choose one by clicking on the job: Factory Worker or Waiter
Waiter Dad was offered a job as a waiter at the West End Bistro. He begins work on Saturday. I think Dad is a little disappointed that he will not be making a lot of money, but he always has said “everyone must start somewhere.”
Factory Worker Dad got a job working at a steel factory that makes the armor for the tanks. I think that is pretty neat. It is a big change from picking cotton all day. Dad says that it will be just as hard, if not tougher work. I heard him talking with mom last night about not being able to join the labor union. He seemed pretty upset.
Riots When I got home from school today, Dad was already home from work which was very unusual. He had a bandage on his hand and a bruise above his eye. Mom said that there was a riot in the neighborhood after I left for school. Mom said some white people were mad and were saying we had taken their jobs and homes.
Did things change? I asked my dad later that night about what had happened. I told him that I thought things would be better once we moved. We had faced racism back home and violence was pretty common. Dad told me he guessed racism was not only a Southern problem.
Are we better off? As my Dad and I talked, he pointed out some good things. I think he did this to cheer up my mother. He told her that he would be able to vote in the upcoming election in November, which is something he could not do back in South Carolina because of Jim Crow laws. I also told Mom that I like my new school since we have more books and pencils.
A Letter Home Instructions: Sam wants to write a letter home to his cousin who still lives in Edisto. Click here and write a letter for Sam that describes how he may feel after his move and how he likes his new home. Put your name in the Subject Line and send your letter via e-mail.
The End I hope you learned some new information about the Great Migration. Thank you for helping Sam and his family. The End