Selector: Clayton Hayes
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s theme for 2019's Black History Month, Black Migrations, emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the twentieth century through today. Detroit owes a great deal to the Great Migration of Black southerners but, once here, Black Detroiters were given little freedom as to where and when they could migrate within the city itself. Racially restrictive housing covenants (legal until 1948) and hostile white neighborhood associations kept blacks from moving into white neighborhoods, while urban renewal programs bulldozed entire black neighborhoods with little or no compensation to residents.
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Compiled with assistance from Meghan Courtney