The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture opens in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 24. Honoring the grand opening, Smithsonian Magazine released its historic September issue, Black America.
The issue includes powerful articles like the selection “The Long-Lasting Legacy of the Great Migration” that tells of the historical movement spanning from 1910 to 1970 of 6 million African-Americans who fled the rural South in search of a better life.
“At that moment in American history, the country had reached a turning point in a fight for racial justice that had been building for decades. This was the year of the killing of Medgar Evers in Mississippi, of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, of Gov. George Wallace blocking black students at the schoolhouse door of the University of Alabama, the year of the March on Washington, of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” By then, millions of African-Americans had already testified with their bodies to the repression they had endured in the Jim Crow South by defecting to the North and West in what came to be known as the Great Migration. They were fleeing a world where they were restricted to the most menial of jobs, underpaid if paid at all, and frequently barred from voting.” Continue reading.