This section shall cover the happening s between 1925- 1954, which is categorized with the great migrations of the African Americans from the South to the North and other regions. This period marked continuity and a lot of changes in regard to the African- American community, with the central political reality being, Jim Crow segregation. By 1920, there was a lot of segregation in America. The African community was segregated from most of the constitutional and civil rights. Things like voting rights, social and economic development and political representations were only available to the whites. The de facto segregation was experienced mostly in most of the northern cities, and the Africa American in those regions were segregated more than any ones. The bank managers could not give them credit to put up businesses or buy homes near regions occupied mostly by the whites. Immediately after the World War 1, a lot if racism was experienced as the whites saw themselves as the superior ones.
The editor of the Crises Du Bois saw the war as an opportunity for the blacks to redeem themselves and show that they could gain political advantage, but even at the war front, whites proved to be the supreme beings than the Africans. This was part of addressing one of their main stream political and social issues, that is, integration. During this period, mostly referred to as ‘Red Summer of 1999’, large numbers of Africans were lynched and thousand left homeless by racists mob attacks. The period also saw a revival of a southern vigilante group known as the Ku Klux Klan. The group received massive support from the white community. Both the democrats and the Republicans supported the white supremacy and none fought for the rights of the Negros. This led to new development from the African American communities, as they tried to fight for their political rights, and they came up with protest organization.
Another transformation of the political and social life if the African American communities were experienced during the great migration; most of the Africans moved from the south, which was in the rural areas and mostly practiced agriculture. This defined one of their main stream ideologies of political and social issues, and mainly had the issues of transformation. These migrations were fueled by the mechanization of the southern agricultural practices together with the industrialization that was going on in the Midwest and the Northeast regions.
The mechanization of the southern farms led to loss of jobs and there was also a great decline in the cotton farming sectors. The Midwest and the Northeast regions that were getting more industrialized offered better pay to the African Americas. Due to these factors, millions of African Americans moved from the south in search of better job, and escaping from the racism and the lynching of the Africans that was happening in the south. The settling of more and more of the blacks led to development of white communities that had their own newspapers, schools shopping centers, churches theatre groups, and many other institutions. Harlem became the largest African urban centers in North America, by 1930. They held their own culture and arts. With more migrations, other areas like Chicago’s Southside, Boston Roxbury and Cleveland’s Hough district were occupied by more Africans. Areas like the south-central of Los Angeles and East Oakland in California became homes of many African Americans especially after the World War II.
By the end of the war, more than half of the Africans lived in the cities and around 40% of them had moved from south. Pin the 1920’s the Harlem Renaissance became more known due to their expressions on the social forces which had led to the great migration and the modern, through literary works and cultural expressions. This brought about a new generation of intellectuals and artists; all with a unique voice, and born in the age of jazz. Harlem Renaissance got a lot of critiquing too, as the place had become the frontier for both the black life and the social development. Their new term ‘the New Negro’ represented the new levels of militancy, cultural energy and racial consciousness. New protests ideologies and formations began due to various factors, among them the growth of the black communities, rise of large groups of working class blacks together with the great migration. The Tuskegee Machine and the liberal integrations peace negotiations, led by Du Bois in 1916, fueled by the death of Booker. T. Washington in 1915, killed any thoughts and chances of a working political strategy.
When Marcus Garvey arrived in the U.S from Jamaica in 1916, he mobilized groups of poor and working class blacks to support his ideologies of freedom for the Negros; where they had their own representatives who would represent them in legislators, courts and other institutions. This was different from the pluralistic ideal where Africans freely participated that had been ministered by NAACP and Frederick Douglass. Garvey’s ideals were to address their main stream political and social ideals of nationalism. The founder of African Blood Brotherhood Cyril V. Brigg’s brought together the race militancy in the UNIA with a matrix analysis of class struggle, which was meant to address the issues of class, gender and paradigm.
This was fueled by the fact that one of the African leaders Garvey had been imprisoned. The Marxist played any active role in the African politics and society, throughout 1920’s. Du Bois had lost his face as a leader of the Negros by this time, since he had urged the blacks to forget their little grudge with the whites and fight for their democracy. It later turned out that he had been offered a high position in the army, and the phrase of little misdoings done to the blacks was not received well The questions on whether one preferred Garvey’s ‘back to Africa’ program or racial integration, seemed to be fuelled by the mere existence of Jim Crow. When the great depression struck in 1932, many African Americans lost their jobs; many became homeless and hunger struck. There was no effective strategy by the NAACP to handle the large numbers of black unemployment.
Most the intellectuals and workers had been kicked out of the unions, banned from travelling and even from schools and other institution. All these struggles killed any hopes for reforms on social issues like racisms and class. These were also fuelled by the World War that had engulfed, followed by the cold war. This period saw the imprisonment of communist Party leaders like Claudia Jones. By the mid- 1950’s any ideologies of black political thoughts, activism and transformations were almost dead.