Native Son Historical Context

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The Great Migration

Blacks had been leaving the South since the Emancipation Proclamation, but the numbers coming north increased dramatically over time. In 1910, blacks in America were overwhelmingly rural, with nine out of ten living in former Confederate states. From 1915 to 1930, one million blacks moved north. Richard Wright was part of this exodus from poverty and racism. By 1960, 75% of blacks in America lived in northern cities. This incredible alteration in the demographics of the United States had a profound effect on blacks as well as the political makeup of the nation as a whole. There are many reasons for this, the most important being the tremendous disappointment that met the individual migrants when they reached the North. The rapid infusion of people into the northern cities produced the ghettos described in Native Son. In addition, little effort was made to integrate the new arrivals with the rest of...

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This section contains 370 words
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Buy the Native Son Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Native Son from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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