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The Negro in IllinoisThe WPA Papers$
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Brian Dolinar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037696

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037696.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Migrants Keep Coming

The Migrants Keep Coming

(p.119) 14. The Migrants Keep Coming
The Negro in Illinois

Arna Bontemps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the Great Migration, when Negroes from the South descended on northern states in search of better opportunities after World War I. As in the 1870s, news of a better land lying to the north began to spread more generally shortly after the outbreak of the first world war. The Chicago Defender, most energetic purveyor of the good tidings, published articles and poems inviting immigrants North. Though the post-war years brought a slackening of the demand for laborers and finally an acute depression, the trend of migration was toward and not away from Illinois, and particularly toward Chicago. This chapter first considers the socioeconomic and political reasons behind the Negroes' exodus to the North after World War I, especially the issue of equal rights and civil rights, before discussing the concerns raised by the migration as it assumed tidal proportions. It also examines the efforts of southern planters and manufacturers to hamper the activities of labor agents sent South to recruit Negro laborers.

Keywords:   planters, Negroes, American South, American North, World War I, Illinois, Chicago, civil rights, Negro laborers, Great Migration

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