Great Migration, Second.
- G. Mehera Gerardo
Job opportunities and aspirations for an improved quality of life spurred the massive migration of African Americans to the North and West between the 1940s to the 1970s that became known as the Second Great Migration. Although historians have traditionally focused on the First Great Migration, the Second Great Migration involved a larger number of migrants and arguably had a greater impact on the position of African Americans in twenty-first-century American society.
Between 1940 and 1950 roughly 1 5 million African Americans left the South and the exodus continued at the same pace over the next two decades By the 1970s African Americans could no longer be characterized as primarily southeasterners They made up a substantial population of the Northeast the Midwest and the West Coast The African American population had also transformed from primarily rural to primarily urban as a result of the Second Great Migration Northern cities ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.