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tv   The Great Migration  CSPAN  May 5, 2018 4:45pm-6:01pm EDT

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c-span. americanauthor and studies professor davarian baldwin lectures on the migration of african-americans from the south to the north. mr. baldwin explains how the rejection of jim crow that this is in the south and the promise of economic opportunity in the north led to the relocation of millions of african-americans and the transformation of american society. the boston atheneum hosted this event. good evening. welcome to the boston atheneum. i am the director of education and it is my great pleasure to introduce our speaker tonight. before we get started, i would ask you take a moment to silence any cell phones you might have, noise.g that might make and please note the location of
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emergency exit. tonight's lecture is the second in a series of programs that investigate our conceptions of the american dream -- how that idea is shaped or negated. join usinvite you to for our next program, march 8, when sarah mcbride will be here to speak about her book ."omorrow will be different our speaker is historian, cultural critic, and author davarian baldwin, the distinguished professor of american studies and hartford. professor baldwin on his bachelors degree from -- university and holds a masters from new york university. his works include "the great migration" and "escape from new
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york: the new knee grow renaissance beyond -- the new negro renaissance beyond harlem." he is the author of "in the shadow of the ivory tower: how higher education is transforming urban america." he sits on the editorial board for the journal of urban history and as an editor of urban life landscapes and policy book series for temple university press. he also serves as a distinguished lecturer. tonight he will trace the pass of -- the path of southern hoping for the american dream. please welcome professor baldwin to the boston atheneum. [applause]
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professor baldwin: thank you. thank you. thank you. good evening, everyone. it is a pleasure to be here at the boston atheneum. it is my first time here, even though i taught at boston college for nine years. come here more now that i am gone. [laughter] .ut it is good to be here this is part of the american dream series, about how we can think differently about the american dream by placing the great migration at the center of the conversation. is exodusfor my talk from dixie. of the great migration is a social movement. like many great migrations are immigrations in the american past have primarily been seen as being driven by the search for a better life, which is the
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context of jobs. america is the light -- land of prosperity. there are opportunities. you can make your own way. americans have been slotted into storyline, but it is truly a search for jobs. i would argue on one hand you can look at the poll of northern industry as a major impetus for the migration from south to north, but you have to look at the conditions of racism, jim inw america, and conditions north and south america as complicating what we mean as the american dream. many of us thought the great migration was not just a search for industry or better jobs. it was a social movement. about migration
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as movement, moving from one place to another. i want to think about movement in terms of coastal mobilization , right? a decision-making process, and i will say more about what i mean by that as we move forward. is that all right? all right. here we have young mary jo. is three yearsre old and the year is 1953. her grandfather was a sharecropper in a small town houston, mississippi near another town called tupelo. elvis presley is from tupelo. her mother knew elvis presley, if that means anything to you. [laughter] mary jo, her young grandfather was a sharecropper and lived in that brutal system
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where you were rented or -- where are you rented or property , where you were given seed, land, and resources and at the end of the season you had to give the majority of that harvest back to the landlord. relationshipy a along racial lines. white landowners. her grandfather was a sharecropper. he constantly begrudged existing in that system, as well as the bookmaking, the budgeting of that system was corrupt. at the end of the season, african american farmers were always in debt. so they had to do what? stable holden to the land -- stay the holden to the land. her grandfather was part of that long begrudging system of sharecroppers. her mother had seen this in 1953,n and decided
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the year of this picture, it was time to make the trek north. it was time to live a better life. it was time to look for different types of economic opportunities. her father would work in a factory and her mother would work as a domestic where 80% of african-american women worked. at the same time, her mother talks all the time about the smell of burning flesh in the air at night. and that is the smell that permeated the air at all times. at the same time, her grandfather told her tales about one time when he got into an argument in the small town of houston and it almost led to fisticuffs, whereby his mason
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segregated the version of the mason brotherhood -- had to hide him in a cave for almost a week until the white community had cooled off because if they had not done that, he probably would have been lynched. so, in 1953, because of a combination of looking for a better economic life and having the reality of jim crow hanging over the air at all times, her mother and father decided to move north. they had family in chicago, illinois. considered too big. it was very different from houston, mississippi. and decided to go an hour 15, 20 minutes further north to .isconsin because -- while there were not as many black people, the
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landscape, the scale reminded the more of houston. -- young mary jo would wake would grow up in wisconsin, go to the integrated high school, and ultimately have a child. who was that child? from unimaginable -- she was my mother. from unimaginable places, the great migration has had an impact on people's lives you do not even know. it has an impact on your life. not just in terms of how you understand african-american life but american prosperity in jim crow. from the south or afro latinos or afro floridians have come to places , st. louis, chicago as -- boston, chicago, st. louis as part of this larger story. of the important point
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story for many of us who are not of african descent is the general story of america as a promised land, many of our parents came to this country as part of looking for a better life. the perception of america being a site of freedom itself. we know little about the fact that it was people like mary jo's grandparents -- their free labor is what made this country a site of prosperity. a place wheres. irish americans, jewish americans, bohemian, greek, place, german, it made a where they could come and prosper. laborabor and near free under sharecroppers made this
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country prosper. the reality of the great migration, they were already here. they did not come to the u.s. to find a better life. they tried to move throughout the u.s., looking for someplace within the u.s. to find a life that was better than where they had lived in the u.s. ,o the great migration centrally, is a story not of coming to america to find the dream, but trying to find their small piece of heaven within what had perceptually been a nightmare. so, the facts. the great migration takes place in two significant phases. this is important.
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from southern towns and cities to the u.s. north, and you can see from the map, they are very particular. when i moved to new york city to ,o to graduate school virginia, were from florida, the west indies. i was born in 1972. these migration chains continue to hold significance, not just in terms of actual mobility of cultural traits. the way areas people in the north perceived or conceptualized their understanding of blackness, which was influenced by the migration chain of which there
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family was apart of. and we see the chain to the west. i've a friend who grew up in los angeles. ay do we have to go to cotillion? a coming out ball. as a because a majority, gift -- a significant number of migrants who came to los angeles were from louisiana and they grew up in a creole/french culture where cotillion's were /creole to their french heritage and that continued as they moved to los angeles, even though it seemed so out of place in the middle of los angeles. the first wave of migration. primarily midwest and northeast. do1940, this is the part we not talk much about. million 1970 -- 4.5
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african-americans. this tripled, almost quadrupled the earlier phase of the great migration. was primarily from the rural south to the urban north, and in this phase you had a much larger screen of african-americans moving from the south to the west because of transportation lines. in the earlier phase, african-americans primarily followed rick lines. by the 1940's and 1950's, what did we have? the automobile. so, that impacted how and where african-americans moved >> just to give you an understanding, this story has been understood primarily in terms of push factors and pull factors. in the earlier phase, around world war i, the argument was the traditional industry narrative, around world war i
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immigration from europe was haunted. because of war -- halted. because of wartime production, industry of war needed a labor supply. labor supply from europe was cut off, industrial agents looked to the south. african-americans came north. that is considered a pull factor. this is the traditional narrative. conditions, at the grandmother's story about smelling the skin of burning flesh in their, we also have to think about push factors. things like jim crow segregation, white capping. some african-americans were able soestablish enough resources that they were able to buy a pl ot of land. if there was be working whites
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who resisted -- be grudging whites who resisted, the prosperity of the landowner, in some cases the family can be removed from their land without recourse to the law or police. was the reality of lynching. anre were rules, if african-american was walking down the street or sidewalk and, a white person was coming the have --y, that i don't that african-american had to get into the street. young white children had to be called sir and ma'am by african-american adults. why children could call african adults by their first name. consider why there are some
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african-americans who have the first name sir, or mister. so even calling them by their first name, you had to give them a formal note. this is the context. finally, sexual violence. most of the work african-american women did in the south was in the home of white homeowners. in these intimate spaces, there is a high degree of sexual violence, rape, harassment, that found no recourse or protection under the law. of jimge of realities crow, lynching, white capping, sexual violence, all became push factors that helped us understand the great migration is not just a search for jobs,
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but a search for freedom in a much wider sense. freedom not tied to a paycheck, but tied to human dignity, the freedom of one's body, individual respect, freedom tied to being able to live without the threat of dying. here in this map, on the left we have the first bank of the great migration. larger circles are the larger areas of african-american populations. if we moved to the second great migration, we have much larger circles in particular areas. particularly, as you can see on the west coast, but the ballooning of circles up and down the eastern seaboard. less of migrations,
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utahin oklahoma, montana, areas. just visual imagery of how this laid out. on this map, we can see the areas with the green arrows with dots are the mobility of african-americans in the early periods. the ones without dots represent new pathways for african-americans. is in the primarily second phase of the migration. this is a continual process, a movement. because it was a continual process, it is very difficult to see it as a response to the availability of jobs. inican-americans started out rural cities and towns, moving to big southern towns, and cities like birmingham, charleston, charlotte, jackson,
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mississippi. then they moved to northern cities. this was a continual process. i will talk about more in a minute. in thees we get, up numbers, this quantitative data, the circles and graphs. we lose sight of the actual migrants. there was an extreme diversity of southern and migration experience that informed the various urban light ways that took shape in northern cities like new york, st. louis, los and the primary city for my discussion, chicago. and newspaperss continually painted a picture of stark contrast between the
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modern glitz and glamour of places like harlem, or the southside of chicago, and the bleak, primitive southern migrants. but, such depictions were far from the actual migrants experience, especially in the early phase between 1950 and nine -- 15 and 1930. the board of chicago, only 25% of migrants had been strictly agricultural laborers that worked on farms. the other 75% had between five and 10 years of experience in southern cities and in factories in southern cities and towns. andas familiar with urban industrial conditions.
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it did not have the same scale as chicago. bothgrants came to cities, black elite and white performers benefited from talking about them as being naive, unkempt, unable to adjust to northern life. lower wages, inferior housing, and in failure recreation. this myth about the naive rural peasant allowed for certain kinds of treatment of black migrants that would trade their savvy experience with factories, with labor unions, with southern towns, if not at the same scale of new york or holland -- harlem. as we move to places like near chicago on the south side in 1910, those lines are actual
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streets. the dark black and dark blue are places of high densities of africans in the population. this is why this area was called the black belt, it was long and narrow. bordered to the east by lake michigan. to the west, by working-class whites. richardever heard of daley? he started out as a member of an athletic club called the reagan cult, that controlled the boundary on the west side of young white who make sure africans didn't dare cross the boundary into the white middle-class areas. that's where you have to start in politics. this is 1910. is seven or eight blocks from north to south, three or four
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blocks from east to west. as we move through the decade, what do we see? not much movement east and west. some movement south, but more portly, the blocks in between our darker black and darker blue. the ability of africans to move outward didn't come. they were living on top of each other. just to give you some numbers, 1930, new yorkd city's black population more than tripled. while chicago's population 230,000.from 44,000 to at the same time in new york, 40,000 caribbean immigrants joined the african-americans to form the black ethnic diversity that was becoming harlem. we can see the impact of caribbean immigration on the
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south end, in boston at the early time period. we can see the impact on the north end, on west philly, as well. of blackrsity .xperience is lost to us as people of african descent were camped -- kept into these tight confines, they were able to find different kinds of employment with relatively better wages as compared to being sharecroppers.
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regardless to their experience, their seniority, or their skill would have indicated. in new york, african-americans worked as longshoremen, porters . in los angeles, longshoremen, worked on oil rigs, in asculture, or worked janitors in aviation planes. in chicago, this meant working on the killing floor of meat packing plants, or in the freezing cold of meat plants. working in steal, farm equipment, or the stockyards. this was experienced primarily for men. for women, whether it is boston,
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new york, chicago, up to 80% worked as domestics. living in whym comes to the south to working, in white homes in the north, or perhaps hotels, boarding houses, or brothels in the urban north. their lives were not fully constrained in the norm by their labor tasks. though they are labor and leisure opportunities that were expanded, they were not immune to the jim crow north. segregation,ial realm,terms of the labor also in terms of leisure. anybody familiar with the prohibition? came, we know there were speakeasies, etc.
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in new york and chicago, during prohibition, liquor drinking didn't go away prayer what we like talk about is most liquor or sex work, it didn't go away, it was owned into black neighbor -- it was zoned into black neighborhoods. it became the place for citywide. findof the reasons you can so many of african descent working in entertainment. the bikes district was the site for entertainment. think about times square. it started out as the vice district, then it became the theater district. those overlays are consistent. it's not because of a natural ability to play the piano, or to seemed and dance, it is because of ice was rezoned into the neighborhood by city officials,
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by boards and the 1920's -- in the 1920's. this is part of the story. if you wanted to go to a movie theater, you might be able to get into a movie theater, but you are escorted to the balcony quickly. if you wanted to go see baseball --es, you couldn't buy before 1898, baseball was integrated. by 1898, there was a moment where it became a pact to no longer allow black african-americans to play in the integrated league. african-americans started creating small versions of black controlled and black run baseball leagues, not quite yet the negro league, but early versions of leagues.
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at the same time, the beaches beachegregated, even the directly in an african-american community in chicago. the third 9th street beach. a child was on a makeshift raft in the water. at one point, his raft accidentally floated into white water, he was immediately stoned to death. this set off the race riot in chicago of 1990. the race riot of chicago was not alone, it was part of a nationwide explosion in the race riots. in texas, washington, d.c., detroit, in chicago. why? the influx of african-americans
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and the close proximity to white working-class residents, and the proximity to white workers on factory lines, white sun bathers at beaches, caused extreme anxiety and resentment that finally exploded from the powder keg that was called the 1919, or the red summer. williams was stoned to death, you have african-americans coming up from the south with a new new vision of freedom. they have just left fighting jim crow south, at the same time, you had african-americans back to world war i, where there were denied equality in the u.s. military, they received the highest honor for their bravery, they just came back from that reality. they came back with a new sense
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of urgency and militancy. so, as african-americans were attacked, this is an image. there is a police officer that is aiding and abetting in the beating. as african-americans were attacked in this moment, they also fought back. the image here is in front of african-american banker and real estate mogul dusty's anger. when african-americans heard about eugene being stoned to death, and white youth looking for somebody to be up -- beat up, black men met at jesse bingham bank and stood outside in a small group ready to defend the black immunity. it wasn't just chicago.
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ideaw york there was this that was bubbling in chicago, in new york, in los angeles, in atlanta. this idea of the new negro. we are no longer old negroes, we are new. the crusader magazine -- the messenger magazine, a black radical left-wing magazine in new york. one month you have an image of following the advice of the old crowd negro. in the industry, you have booker t. washington, w.e.b. dubois, and robert loewen telling african-americans to go to and fight in world war i because the belief was if we sacrifice on the front lines, maybe it would
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prove our right to have equality in america. we have that, also the parity. in saying that, while african-americans are being beaten by the u.s. military in the shadow of the statue of liberty. it is a very striking image. this is advice of the old crowd negro. the next month, you have the new crowd negro making america safe for himself. himself.erica safe for what do we have here? we have a flag, not the black national flag, not the american name but a flag with the longview, texas, washington, d.c., chicago, illinois? those are places where there have been race rights. under the banner of those who will no longer tolerate race rights, that is our flag.
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they are in an armored car on the side there is label the new negro. at the top, it reads giving the hun a dose of its own medicine. that notion is important. usederm "hun" is a term we to talk about the germans. here you have african-americans saying the hun are white americans, in a geopolitical context. a cartoon version of new negro. here is a real version, an actual version. the new negro has no fear. this was at a universal negro improvement association rally in 1920. the uni a was founded by none other than marcus garvey, his
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family had come from jamaica. instarted as an organizer latin america trying to fight against the exploitations being done by people of african-american descent at the that of united fruit, spread its tentacles throughout latin america. he came to the u.s. to affiliate with those he saw as allies. there is this flag, we still have it today, we think the red stands for the blood, the black stand for the man, and the green stands for land. --ginally, the registered the red stood for the russian revolution, the green stood for the irish revolution, and the black was for the upcoming black revolution. their headquarters was called liberty hall, named after the headquarters of the irish republican army in ireland.
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when he got to the u.s. and tried to make alliances with irish americans, and jewish and russian americans, they had fallen under the spell of american whiteness and did not see any way that they could be figure like marcus garvey or the unia. visionnt is he and his of the new negro having no fear, talked about the crosscurrents of convergence on places like harlem, chicago, los angeles, where afro caribbean, afro latino immigrants were meeting up with african-american migrants from the south and trying to find their piece of freedom. this new crown negro, one of the key battle fronts for this new
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consciousness, this new resilience, was around the questions and issues of housing. this is an image of chicago's southside. to the right, we have the university of chicago. an esteemed liberal institution. in fact, the university of chicago underwrote white neighborhood associations that created these things called restrictive covenants. of the the endowment university was generated by land donations, they wanted to uphold the value of their land, by making sure it would be white only. beyond an institution like the university, we have the darker , where thee north lighter shades are meeting them
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there are black dots. those are places where there were acts of firebombing, where african-americans that dared move into what was previously a white neighborhood, either their home was firebombed, or the home of the agent was firebombed for having the audacity to sell their home or piece of real estate to an african-american. there is this thing about land value, the university trying to protect land value by keeping the neighborhood all white. how could that be? -- wewere these things all know what a mortgage is -- we all know that mortgages have certain restrictions on the. , and there's a chandelier i want to take, i am able to take it with. homes sayindividual
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it can't be sold to any growth --negro. it cannot be oriental. african-americans came in large numbers, these individual restrictions were not enough to hold the racial lines. neighborhood associations began to organize together to create these things called restrictive covenants. these were agreements between homeowners to not rent, sell, or lease in the midwest or east part two african-americans. on the west, it was neat rows, , except forlipino if they were living in a service quarter. we are all in the shadows back then. these wonderful, beautiful, large homes, who lives in those?
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the servants. at one time, black, and increasing irish, the history even touches the cradle of liberty. were legallyts binding. was theouth, racism charade by law, whereas racism in the north was a fact by custom. these were legally binding agreements in the north. for me, restrictive covenants challenged the idea that the north was simply governed by the facto form of discrimination. as we move forward in the decades, we have a new phenomenon called redlining. it wasn't about keeping african-americans out, this became much more important as
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the 1950's came into shape when white americans were able to gaze -- gain prosperity wages in the suburbs. they were able to sell their homes, get out of their apartments, and move to new developments, development that created the american middle class, that were federally subsidized. i argue this was the greatest socialist act in world history, the creation of the american middle class. housingtions, highways, , plumbing, electrical, all federally subsidized, but white only. how? with redlining, the federal housing authority, a federal authority agency, created these things called residential security matches, which had four colors.
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the colors were green, for extremely prosperous, blue for still prosperous but waning in property, yellow for near danger, and red for dangerous. dangerous for what? do not invest in this area. green is best, green means go. yes, invest. time, these in color coordinates were used to determine housing stocks. by the mid-1930's, there was a shift to using these color codes to not evaluate housing stocks, but to evaluate the race of the residents. even if you lived in an african-american neighborhood, and your housing stock is superior, the presence of african-americans could give the area a red designation, hence
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the notion redlining. are what helped create, structurally, what we know today as ghettos. the irony is that ghetto had been a term used to apply to jewish communities in europe. 40's, you began to see african-american activists utilize the term ghetto as a way to critique state-sponsored residential segregations in the u.s. as being just like ghetto formation in europe. fact, it was shed light on the fact that it wasn't about choice, or happenstance, this is state sanctioned, state-sponsored cordoning off of certain communities into certain areas. this is ghetto, american-style.
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this is the title of a newspaper article in the los angeles seminole, a black newspaper. in the face of this, african-americans were constricted into these areas ultimately because of segregation landlords could extract the highest rents for the worst housing from the most economically disenfranchised populations. extract theuld highest rents for the worst housing from the most economically disenfranchised populations. that's gave rise to things like kitchenettes. apartments were cut up into single rooms, rented without a
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lease, oftentimes without a kitchen. kinds ofce of these quarantining,, a a corralling of black people into tight, inhumane spaces, african-americans were resilient. they had the spirit of a new legal consciousness. they cultivated living in places like harlem or the south side and in many ways, black people turned a segregation into congregation. segregation into congregation. they were able to be resilient and not be happy or consider it a lucky happenstance that they had been segregated, but they were able to create a vibrant
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black world. segregationof that on the shop floor, in leisure spaces, and housing, and neighborhoods. this is an image by the chicago artist archibald leslie -- lottley. this is located on 35th and state street, the central artery of the black commercial and art lifed lifelike -- night district. it was crowded with restaurants and cap arrays, excitement from noon to noon. on the stroll, midnight was like day. that is a description from langston hughes. is an artistic representation of the actual phenomenon that was the stroll, the site of commerce and
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nightlife and retail. as africans americans left the south, they left behind the lynch justice of the south. onto 35th and sixth with a swagger and a shimmy, they moved from shacks to brownstones and many cast ballots for the first black senator to be elected in the u.s. since reconstruction. they turned that containment into a community, into a voting block to elect the first black senator since reconstruction. parents proudly marched their children to wendell phillips high school, which was one of the only high schools where african-american children could go with its modern facilities, it's integrated classes and its night school classes for parents
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that included early courses in negro history and literature. wagesould deposit their here at a black-owned bank. buy beauty and health products here at anthony overton's, or get expert health care from a black medical professional at providence hospital here. williams wasl residing. if you do not know who he is, he was the first person to successfully perform an open heart surgery. he presided over the hospital. african-american, the first person. space, is fires
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ant space called the stroll, what i'm calling the daytime stroll. all of the respectable industries, banking, hospitals, .mall businesses, churches here we have pilgrim baptist church. the home of gospel music. music, notospel white gospel music, gospel music. the musical soundtrack to sacred life today, across racial lines was created in this space. this was a respectable space, this was the daytime stroll. we cannot talk about the daytime stroll without talking about the nighttime stroll. , bars,httime stroll nightclubs, ballrooms, gambling dens, i want to pause and
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gambling dens. they are vitally important because when african-americans could not get access to banking from mink -- mainstream america, they turned to gambling. what you'll call the numbers on the east coast. the numbers or policy gambling became the banks of back -- black communities when they could not get support from white financial institutions. when money was spent at a policy we'll were a numbers runner, that money went back into the black community, to the point where these policy kings or numbers kings became extremely influential. they supported black baseball, ballrooms, nightclubs, but they also supported literary clubs and writing competitions that would help give rise -- before i get to that -- all this was
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written about in black newspapers. this was called america's weekly, the chicago defender. this had to be smuggled into the south because it advocated the mass exodus north. white owners did not want their workforce to leave the south. for good reason. reporters had to smuggle these papers to the south. this was the voice black nationally, started in chicago. dr. policy gambling, funding and supporting literary contests and literary voices. that underwrote what became the harlem renaissance. we associate the harlem renaissance with the new negro.
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hopefully this story will tell you that that notion predated renaissance. the new negro as a political movement came online after the race riots in 1919. it became a literary movement when the book voices of the new negro cannot -- came out. the influence of politics, of social movements, of housing, of policy gambling helped underwrite a vibrant world of art and literature that helped people like langston hughes, , and so beyondon simply the middlebrow world of literature and libraries, we also have the popular cultural world that was underwritten, push forth. things that we know as being black culture or american
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culture being powered by the visions and ambition of those who had lots -- who had once been migrants. a migrant from louisiana started as a washerwoman in a white woman tone, she moved to the midwest and realized she could turn is labor reality of doing black women's hair into an industry. public folklore argued that she was just trying to make black women look white but when you look at archival material, it shows that her advertisements focused on learn to grow hair because if you're poor, what do you have? hair breakage. it is about making hair healthy and cultivating an army of what she called beauty culture lists, black women who wanted to leave white women's homes and create small businesses. before martha stewart, she had
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created a vibrant wellness industry. margaretght, you have joyner in chicago, that machine in the right-hand corner was her invention. this was patented in illinois. how many are familiar with the marcel wave? those hairstyles were extremely time intensive to make. what she did was each of those but allow you to set each wave at the same time. she called it the permanent wave machine. the point is, she was a part of this group of migrants whose life was supposed to be consigned to wash tubbs and backdoors. in chicago, she became not only but any culturalist inventor. chicago waswood,
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the home of photo plays, moving pictures. home of blacke filmmaking. this on the right side, the figure in the middle on the left who is another migrant first moved from the south to south dakota. he wanted to be a rancher. he could not do well as a renter so he decided to make movies about being ambitious and black and successful as a rancher. primaryame one of the filmmakers of black life. , andrew foster was a migrant from texas. when african-americans were excluded from the white legs in 1919 he created the national -- inte legs -- white leagues,
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1919, he created the national negro leagues. we have a team called the harlem globetrotters. they were never from harlem. they called themselves harlem because they wanted you to know they were black and they were beating every team in the nation. they were not just about tricks, they were a competitive team. they built 18 -- they beat the team in indiana held by john wooden, ucla. they used to kick is but all the time. they call themselves harlem so you knew they were black. they call themselves globetrotters because they went as far east as ohio and as far west as iowa. finally, you have music.
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on the left is a young louis armstrong who followed his mentor from new orleans chicago. followed him and became one of the greatest musicians the world has ever known. on the right-hand side, you have blues music. is maoman in the middle graney, a powerful woman who talked about lost love, same-sex love, she wore men's suits and a sequined gowns. way ahead of her time. that and player on the right was trying tong pianist make his way but could not because he cannot be a successful musician in the blues world. take theseat if i blues sounds, the trails and
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embellishments and the long withhs and combine them sacred lyrics. created a song called if you see my savior and he became professor thomas andrew dorsey and the foster -- the father of gospel music. from georgia to chicago. story, of the great migration, we have promises. we have pitfalls, and when we look back at the great migration, it has been a transformative. here is another image, a beautiful one. this great migration has continued to be transformative in our present.
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our current struggles with police brutality, with the lack of affordable housing, with anxieties around immigration find their roots in the struggles and the battles lost during the great migration. the very things they thought against and fought for and didn't win, we're continuing to fight for today. time, the resistance by the black lives matter movement, the largely black and clear -- clear lead me to movement, he did not hear -- black and queer #meotoo movement, they have their roots in the great migration. unresolved complex and complicated realities in between, the great migration
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remains central to however we understand america. certainly it is past but also it is future. thank you. [applause] and i apologize for going over. if anyone has to go, i take no offense. but questions, comments? ,> i'm asking for clarification have you seen the documentary about lorraine hansberry? >> i have not. -- they refer to her father as the kitchen at king. in chicago.
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well-known as a black landlord for his community. able to work his way up so the family was middle-class. wondering, i'm curious as to whether he exploited his own or he was the kind of black landlord that yes he renter these kitchenettes -- he rented these kitchenettes or were they better than the ones you discussed? >> it is both. like in chicago, we have jesse startm, men who got their with a combination of exploiting black renters but also carving out space where it had not been before.
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an equally interesting story is that when his family, you might know this, they attempted to integrate washington park, they created the case hansberry v lee which led to the larger case theseid away with covenants. i do not know his particular role, i do not know that story that i do know the figures that were heroes, they made money off of exploiting the jim crow north but at the same time carved out space for black people to live in places where they would not have been able to. it is a combination of both, if that answers your question. >> thank you. >> i have a question about the town, new york.
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town, new york. under redlining edicts. laid, the first stone was these places had these covenants built into them before they were built. 1948, theyutlawed in were made no longer legally enforceable but people still placed housing developments under restrictive covenants. it became a white only domain and a great story of progress, i would call it a socialist story. that is that here nor there is the point is that this is a great story of opening up the opportunity but it was white only.
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there were many developments like that across the country that were created, federally or allzed but primarily the way white only. the most important part of the story is as families move into these homes, they accrue interest. they accrue wealth that can be inherited by the next generation. by the time my family gets access to the housing market, that original home would cost $30,000, by the time i bought , maybe for$200,000 the same kind of home but what has happened? that white family has accrued wealth. in a racially closed market. legacy that a reverberates long beyond the original point-of-sale.
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legacy whenmportant a comes to current struggles over affordable housing. where youeighborhoods will lose certain tax credits in towns if you do not build affordable housing. certain neighborhoods are willing to forgo the credit, take the penalty versus building affordable housing. now, you do not need to say i am being discriminatory. you say i am not building housing that is not consistent with the character of my town, but that claim is rooted in a history of racially unequal access to finance, housing, jobs, opportunities. i just want to say, the legacy of the great migration persists to the present in terms of wealth. yes? >> could you talk about how the not bill after world war ii
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only in the south of the north, it was more difficult for gis of color to get mortgages than white people which as you said allowed them to build their wealth is not black people. prof. baldwin: you said it better than i could. that is exactly what happened. some african american gis were able to get the g.i. bill. all whites were. people want to point to exceptions and say there were some. that means it is ok. but it is ok. but the disparity between a couple of african-americans versus all whites means it was extremely racially discriminatory. this had a huge impact on wealth building beyond the original generation of home buyers. yes? >> thank you very much.
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this was a perfect lecture. my question is about the beginning of the great migration and the pushback in the form of and the terrorism things that distinguished the black experience from a conventional migration narrative. my grandfather came from south carolina in 1906 and i always -- you use 1910, somewhere in there, isn't there any data that shows the effect of plessis ferguson -- plessy ferguson in enhancing jim crow that would put a great migration even earlier? prof. baldwin: there is something people call the
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migration of the talented 10. 1890 to 1910. affluente usually african-americans. wealth, education, had they had the capacity to be equal with white peers. it made that parity altered. the encouraged what we call migration of the talented 10, before 1915. these are individuals who had education from fisk or hampton or southern or morehouse or spellman or places like that. or who did well in trades, who were from durham, which was the previous black capital before chicago.
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they had in insurance because for so long african-americans could not get insured by white insurers because they believed we had a propensity for death and then a propensity for living buter, the target changed different ways for not ensuring us, there was this phenomenon before world war i. thatlps reinforce the idea the great migration was not simply a response to job opportunities because of world war i, the growth of industry. it was an ongoing experience in the face of these factors that do not get as much conversation because they do not conform to the general narrative of the american dream as chasing economic opportunities. thank you. commentder if you could on the jacob lawrence painting
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-- prof. baldwin: i wanted to use them by joe at the copyright. them but i do not have the copyright. them you could comment on and the musical called the great migration coming to boston. prof. baldwin: i need find out more about that. thank you for that. was a product of the great migration. he wrote this story as a first-hand observer. ways, his paintings reinforced the traditional view of moving to the north for industry and there are questions about why he did that because of the funders, patrons, because of trying to get reception. in other paintings, one said another cause was lynching.
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it is one panel that stands out by itself. but it was in the context of these current -- the current scholarship, it haunts us. all of these panels on industry and opportunity, another cause was lynching. it speaks to these other factors that demonstrate the range of reasons. as well, the wonderful panel that shows different flows of migrants looking like tributaries and rivers. it speaks to the fact of the great migration being a social movement. the final panel where it says and they came and kept coming and kept coming. we get the imagery of movement without pause and increasing and expanding and growing as being much more than a response to job opportunities but something being driven by some type of and beingut freedom
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better than what we currently are. that is a great way to end, thank you. [applause] sorry i went over. >> don't pray about it. -- don't worry about it. morning, american in turmoil. we look at the vietnam war at home. while the war was fought in the jungles of vietnam, student marches on american streets dominated u.s. headlines. joining us to talk about that time are the author of the odyssey of a go company, the tet offensive and the epic battle to novick the war and lynn
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whose recent project was the 10 part documentary the vietnam war. sunday at 8:30 eastern on washington journal and american history journal -- american history on c-span3. c-spanect with personalized information you get. go to the program guide is a daily email the schedule, word for word gives you the most interesting video highlights. the book tv newsletter is an insiders look at upcoming authors and book festivals. the american history tv newsletter gives you the upcoming programming exploring our nation's past. and sign up today.
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up next on the civil war, university of florida professor talks about the life of anna dickenson, a quaker woman from pennsylvania. she gained fame as an abolitionist and lecturer during the civil war era. the professor describes coverage ever talks as well as her career as a playwright and actor. this is part of a conference hosted by the center for civil war history. >> my topic is close to my heart. by thinkingart about this subtitle, a woman in politics. but for thebadly last 20 years or so, i have been teaching an undergraduate course called women in public which is about 19th-century women and the theme of the course is that although women could vote, they had economic like it


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