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From Exodusters to Great Migrations

With the formal ending of slavery in place, many freed black people saw this as an opportunity to start anew. But, for those in the south, things didn’t seem much different. The southern black experience saw more aggression, lynchings and segregation. As a result, the time to move was imminent.

World War I allowed black people to enter the factory workspace as they left the south. As black people migrated, they were able to establish their own neighborhoods. By World War II, these communities were able to welcome more black migrants and aid in their entrance into an industrialized workforce.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Nell Irvin Painter of Princeton University and Farah Griffin of Columbia University, we look at how black people left the south in hopes of freedom, equality, and new opportunities.

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