The Great African American Cultural Migrations
The Great Migration—the mass exodus of blacks from the rural South to the urban North and West in the twentieth century—shaped American culture and life in ways still evident today. Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott trace the ideas that inspired African Americans to abandon the South for freedom and opportunity elsewhere.
Black Southerners fled the Low Country of South Carolina, the mines and mills of Birmingham, Alabama, the farms of the Mississippi Delta, and the urban wards of Houston, Texas, for new opportunities in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They took with them the South’s rich tradition of religion, language, music, and art, recreating and preserving their Southern identity in the churches, newspapers, jazz clubs, and neighborhoods of America’s largest cities. Rutkoff and Scott’s sweeping study explores the development and adaptation of African American culture, from its West African roots to its profound and lasting impact on mainstream America.
Broad in scope and original in its interpretation, Fly Away illuminates the origins, development, and transformation of national culture during an important chapter in twentieth-century American history.