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GOIN’ NORTH: BLACK DETROIT AND THE GREAT MIGRATION, 1910-1930

An exhibit prepared and sponsored by the Bentley Historical Library and Printing Services of the University of Michigan
Monday, April 17, 2017
11:00 AM-5:00 PM
G648 GalleryDAAS Haven Hall Map
Summary:
Exhibit of photographs and documents produced by the Michigan Historical Collections in Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the University of Michigan, published 1991.
BLACK DETROIT AND THE GREAT MIGRATION

Since Norf is up,
An’ Souf is down,
An’ Hebben is up,
I’m upward boun’.*
They came to Detroit by the thousands from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Caroline and they stayed. They were part of what historians characterize as a watershed in African American History-the Great Migration. From 1910 to 1930, hundreds of thousands of Blacks headed North, leaving the South because of economic hardship, poor educational opportunities, and enticed by the lure of better jobs in northern industries and more freedom. Cites in the industrial Northeast and Midwest experienced astounding increases in their Black populations, but few more so that Detroit, its institutions and its cultures, took shape and developed. The problems encountered by the migrants in the form of discrimination and racial animosity were problems with which the city would grapple throughout the decades to follow.

This exhibit focused on the two major concerns of the migrants, housing and jobs, and on the attempts made by various organizations in adjusting to life in Detroit. It is primarily compiled from the holding s of the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, particularly the rich collection of the Detroit Urban League. It is also drawn from the Collections of the Detroit Public Library, the Walter Reuther Collection of the Detroit Public Library, the Walter Reuther Collection of Labor History and Urban Affairs (Wayne State University), the Collections of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the Detroit News, and tge Second Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan. The exhibit was prepared by Christine Weideman and Karen Jania, staff members of the Bentley Historical Library.

*From the poem, “Northboun’” by Lucy Ariel Williams, printed in Opportunity “: a Journal of Negro Life, June 1926. The journal was a publication of the National Urban League.
Building: Haven Hall
Event Type: Exhibition
Tags: African American, Detroit, History, immigration, Networking, Social Impact, Social Justice
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department for Afroamerican and African Studies, Bentley Historical Library
Upcoming Dates: