The Great Migration
From 1910 to 1970, more than 6 million southern blacks left their rural homes in search of an urban ‘Promised Land’ in the north. The largest migration in American history was caused by the ‘push’ of hardships prevalent in the South–such as segregation, lynching and the economic hopelessness of the sharecropping system–and the ‘pull’ of opportunity in the North. Plentiful industrial jobs, although sometimes menial, often offered wages three times higher than did jobs in the South. Glowing reports from friends and family already in the North inspired increased migration. While racism, housing shortages and crime often greeted the new arrivals, they also found organizations such as the National Urban League and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) dedicated to improving the lives of black Americans.
Library of Congress
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ST. LOUIS — A grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo. police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests and a national conversation about race and police interactions with African Americans, prosecutors said Monday.
The decision means that Wilson, 28, will face no state charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded they do not have a case against Wilson, either, law enforcement officials have said.
A separate federal probe of the Ferguson Police Department is underway. But the prospect that Wilson will face no direct legal consequences for Brown’s death was expected to trigger protests in the St. Louis area, and in the hours before the announcement, scores of demonstrators gathered near the area where Brown was killed.
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