All major ethnics groups in America have made transformation out of poverty through crime. The history of many major corporation in America is the history of one generation entering into a life of crime so that the next generation can have a life of wealth and progress. Therefore, it is wrong for members of the minority population to place such a heavy burden on young men who have chosen to follow a life of crime for the purpose of accumulating wealth. Religion played a significant role in the lives of these men of crime. They followed their religion and they followed their passion, and those passions resulted in the establishments of corporations, which today support many of the families in America and the world.

Immigration means to travel from another country to a foreign country. Migration means to travel within your own country.


America is a land of movement, people coming in and people moving from state to states.

Who came in?

Over 150 million citizens can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island.

Over 20 million entered Ellis Island between 1892-1930.

Why Did The Come?

They came to escape oppression and poverty in Europe.

How Many in the Great Migration?

Almost 9 million African Americans left the South between 1920 and 1950.

Why Did They Come?

They left to escape Jim Crow, a system, which was worst than slavery and the lynching of its best and brightest.


Who Helped Them?


Organization in the North such as Churches the Urban League, and employers who were happy for an experienced work force helped Africans. Organizations such as the Urban League and the NAACP helped the new comers to the northern cities.

Whole families packed up and left, they took their gifts and their talents with them.

The south did not give up its work force easily; sheriffs from local town would go to the railroad stations to try to prevent people from leaving.


In the north leaders such as Marcus Garvey tried to organize trips back to Africa. Later other leaders such as Malcolm X encouraged the African American to fight for his rights and not leave his country.

What Did They Do?

The African Americans became cooks, railroad car porters, domestic servants, engineers, construction workers, teachers and preachers. Many opened up their own businesses and became successful businessmen.

The African American always sent people ahead to secure jobs and living accommodations before the move took place. This was a president set by Harriet Tubman as one of the conductors of the Underground Railroad.

The Immigration movement met with the Great Migration movement and there were several clashes over jobs and living accommodations. In Harlem during the early part of the 20th century, Irish, Italian, Jews and African Americans found a way to live together as each group worked to achieve the American dream.

If our sons, fathers and husbands are being destroyed by the gun, drugs and our penal system, then perhaps it is time for another great migration out of urban centers. No state can afford to lose its human resources, if your family is being hurt by your location….move !



The 1920’s were the best and the worst of times for Black people in America. It was the time of the great migration out of the South. Black people became tired of Jim Crow, segregation, and racist white people doing their best to work out their anger and frustration for losing the Civil War, on black people.

The end of the Civil War left the south devastated, they did not have the mental strength to endure hardship, so they selected a scapegoat to torture and torment. Black people had hundred of years of oppression and as a results had developed emotional and spiritual methods for survival. Black people were also able to find work in employment of those who had wealth. They knew how to scrub floor, care for children, operate businesses, and stick together in extended family relationships to share survival resources.

They had their own schools and churches and they knew how to stay out of the way of people who did not like them or want them around. There was however, a point where the oppression and the hatred became unbearable and there was a ground swelling of the feeling that it was time for a change.

There were some who were putting forth the idea of returning to Africa and starting a new life back in the mother land; there was also the thinking that this land is the land of my ancestors, this is the land we know and have known for over three hundred years, and we were not willing to leave Egypt and wander in the wilderness for countless years.

We created this land, we nursed the Founding Fathers with the milk from our breast, there was no land better than this land and it was our land. The knowledge of the North American continent and the awareness that the environment tended to influence behaviors, and people in other parts of the country did not act with the anger, hostility and violence experienced in parts of the south.

There were stories of the promise land up north trickling down below the Mason Dixon line. There were also the Harriet Tubman’s of the post slavery period, helping those who did not know the way to the northern star, and did not have the courage to take the first step. The advance guard was sent up to the northern cities as scouts and over ground railroad agents to develop maps and safe houses.

Eventually as homes were established, jobs secured and schools for the children, whole families decided to take what they could carry, sell their possession for family tickets and prepare to make the great migration out of the south into the north. They left by bus and by train empowered by the same courage that sustained them through years of slavery to survive at all cost.

Surprising was the reactions of the racist people in the south, when they began to realize the reality that they were about to lose their valuable resource, their human resource capital, they began to panic. White sheriffs would stand and the railroad stations with guns and try to prevent people from boarding trains. Federal laws preventing the interference of interstate travel encouraged people to just walk over these desperate officers, pay the cost of the ticket and get on board. Well-planned trip required families to pack their own food and necessities so as to cover any and all eventualities. This was also a great money venture for the railroads, and they were not going to prevent anyone or anything from interfering with commerce.

The mass migration of black people out of the south was around the same time that white people were running from the overwhelming poverty in European countries. Both black and whites were trying to escape oppression and around the same time and often to the same locations. The urban centers were the enculturation stations where immigrants learn how to be Americans, and migrants learned how to live free. The two groups often found themselves competing for the same resources.

The black migration population had a big advantage over the Ellis Island immigrant, they could speak English, and they were American citizens. America did not have the category legal or illegal at that time, and a bill of good health and the price of a boat ticket could bring you to the land of opportunity. Both groups, the immigrant and the migrant were led to believe that the streets of New York City were paved in gold. They both soon learned that there was plenty of paving to do building bridged, roads and subways, and they would receive plenty of gold doing the paving.

Blacks were able to secure employment working on ships and the railroad, and women were able to obtain employment as maids and schoolteachers. Language and citizenship were a big barrier to the immigrants and a benefit to the migrant. Immigrants often found themselves working in factories and construction, where language was not important, only the ability to demonstrate skills and follow directions.

These were the depression years and immigrants coming in through Ellis Island from southern Europe surrounded the migrating families from the south. Jewish, Italian and Irish families were struggling just to make ends meet. The ethnically diverse community of Harlem shared its resources with the multicultural inhabitants. Groups did not separate; they were in the same economic struggle together. Poverty did not discriminate during the depression years.

Individuals had to be creative to keep a roof over their heads. Men could be seen selling everything on the streets. Italian street vendors selling ice or fish from the back of a truck, Jewish men selling curtains and household ware from suitcases, Irish men struggling to make a living as policemen, while their wives contributed to the family by working as public school teachers. Men who were unable to find a hustle, could be seen selling apples or just abandoned their families altogether, and turn to the bottle to cope. Black families tended to fair a little better during the depression.




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