Through images and texts both historical and contemporary, this book looks at the Great Migration and its profound and ongoing impact.
This thoughtful interweaving of text and imagery presents a variety of perspectives on the Great Migration (1915–70), the mass exodus and dispersion of millions of African Americans out of the South. Through archival photography, newspaper clippings, maps, journal articles, book excerpts, and ephemera such as family recipes, the book immerses readers in Black history, the Great Migration, and its legacy. The book includes texts by authors ranging from W. E. B. Du Bois and Jean Toomer to Toni Tipton-Martin and culminates in a candid roundtable discussion about familial migration stories among some of the most respected Black artists, writers, and scholars working today: Theaster Gates, Kiese Laymon, Carrie Mae Weems, and others. The material is presented in three unique, thematic sections that explore the Great Migration’s impact on the American city, Black Southern foodways, and cultural expression.
Taken as a whole, this important volume provides powerful testimony to the systemic challenges such as social segregation, racism, and discrimination that Black communities have faced from the post-Emancipation period to the present moment.