Free At Last

African-Americans were enslaved for over 200 years. While enslaved many were beaten to death. Their children were taken from them, and their daughters raped. They finally gained their freedom, at least that's what they thought. They were still being stigmatized for what they were not, "white". Why did it surprise them? After all they lived in a nation that believed in social Darwinism, only the fittest will survive. To "white America" they were only ex-slaves, ignorant and an inferior race. The discrimination against the black men was so out of control that it even created "Jim Crow" laws. It also caused the "Great Migration" and created the "New Negro".
Jim Crow laws were passed in the Southern states. It legalized the segregation between blacks and whites. The name is believed to come from a character in a popular minstrel song. These laws created separate streetcars, public waiting rooms, theaters, and even hospitals. Even soldiers serving in WWI were being discriminated. They were good enough to fight for our country but to not good enough to be considered equal to his white counterpart because of his skin color.
World War I ceased European immigration and because of this, businesses where looking to hire southern Africans. The poverty level and racism caused blacks to move up North.This became known as the "Great Migration".People were losing jobs not because incompetence but because of their color. "I have never been discharged on account of …, but I have been "let out" on account of my color" (Letters from the Great Migration 1917). They were all looking for a better way of life. "everything is gone up but the poor colerd peple wages" (Letters from the Great Migration 1917). When they moved up North they didn't see the racism or the segregation that was seen in the South. "I haven't heard a white


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