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In conjunction with the “Elijah Pierce: An American Journey” exhibition, this Black History talk will focus on providing context for Pierce’s work by delving into the Great Migration of African Americans to the North. Following Reconstruction in the South, African Americans began to move to the North in search of better living conditions, both economically and politically. Beginning at the turn of the twentieth century and continuing on into the post-World War II period, African Americans migrated to the North in two waves.  The first wave of migrants beginning in the first decade of the twentieth century and continuing until the First World War was smaller than the second major movement of African Americans, which started after the war and continued until the Second World War and thereafter. The so-called Great Migration reformed the demographics of the North.  The Great Migration has had a significant impact on twentieth century American society and politics. The lecture will be complemented by images of northern life in African American communities, the impact of the Great Migration on the Civil Rights Movement, and African American art by Elijah Pierce, Jacob Lawrence and other major figures such as Romare Bearden. This lecture is presented by Dr. John F. Moe from The Ohio State University and funded in part by Ohio Humanities.  Free and open to the public.

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