After a few years, your family saves enough to rent a small diner. People can get tasty Southern food there. It’s affordable, and it stays open all day and night. Many customers stop by after late-night factory shifts. You’re working hard. Even so, you’re happier than many of your cousins and friends down South.
After Reconstruction, southern states passed Jim Crow laws. These laws limited the rights of newly freed African Americans. They drove thousands of formerly enslaved people to move north between 1910 and 1930. That was called the Great Migration. Migration is movement within a country. By the time this big move slowed, more than half of all African Americans lived in the Northeast and Midwest.
African Americans weren’t the only ones on the move. Millions of immigrants were coming to the U.S. from other countries. Between 1860 and 1910, about 23 million immigrants arrived. They brought their hopes, cultures, and customs with them.