Great Migration Map

GREAT MIGRATION: DOCUMENTS FOR THE INVESTIGATION

Crop Failure
Sharecropping
Lynchings
Racism
Jim Crow
Letters Migration Life up North Labor World War I
Writings of DuBois Poetry Images Chicago Riot Data
Link to Journal of Negro History
(available only from UIC computers)

Want to add documents of your own?



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The Boll Weevil and Cotton Crop Failure
 
THE BOLL WEEVIL IN PICTURE
http://www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us/4th/kkhp/1insects/bollweevil.html
Photographs of the boll weevil.

THE BOLL WEEVIL IN SONG
http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/historyGIS/greatmigration/gmdocs/boll_weevil_song.html
Lyrics to a folk song in which a Boll Weevil is taunting a Tennessee Farmer who is struggling unsuccessfully to grow enough cotton.  Two recorded performances by other artists can be heard online: A audio  B audio  
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Sharecropping and Exploitation
 
 “WHEN WE WORKED ON SHARES, WE COULDN’T MAKE NOTHING”: HENRY BLACK TALKS ABOUT SHARECROPPING AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6377/
An interview with an African-American farmer born in 1863, conducted for a New Deal oral history project about ex-slaves.  Henry Blake shares his experiences helping his parents gin cotton and struggle to make a living under the early system of sharecropping. 

“THE SERFS OF RUSSIA…WERE GIVEN THREE ACRES OF LAND”
http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/douglass.htm
In this speech, given many years after Reconstructions ended, Frederick Douglass laments the development of sharecropping in the South, and links it to the failure of land confiscation in Reconstruction.

"DRUG HIM THROUGH THE STREET": HUGHSEY CHILDES DESCRIBES TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY SHARECROPPING
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/81/
Here Hughsey Childes, interviewed by historian Charles Hardy in 1984, described what seems like a matter of fact exchange in which a white landowner cheated a black sharecropper. But when the sharecropper got "a little wise" and withheld some of the crop from the landlord, the punishment was swift and final.

"STILL LIVIN' UNDER THE BONDS OF SLAVERY": MINNIE WHITNEY DESCRIBES SHARECROPPING AT THE TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/82/
In this interview done by historian Charles Hardy in 1984, Minnie Whitney, born in 1902, described the determined efforts of more progressive farmers like her father, who along with her mother struggled to maintain some self-sufficiency in the face of white determination to enforce African-American dependence on the sharecropping system.

NOT FREE YET
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/sharecrop/ps_adams.html
A freed slave describes the violence he lived through after Emancipation.

A SHARECROPPING CONTRACT
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/sharecrop/ps_dawson.html
Many ex-slaves were compelled to sign unfair labor contracts like this one.

GOOD AND KIND TREATMENT IS REQUIRED
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/sharecrop/ps_delany2.html
A model contract reveals some of the injustices typical of sharecropping arrangements.

SHARECROPPING: PBS RECONSTRUCTION VIDEO CLIP
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/players/vb_sharecrop_qry.html
Freedmen seek rights as workers, and landowners seek control over their labor. (8:33 length)
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Lynchings in the South
 
Definition of Lynching
http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/historyGIS/greatmigration/gmdocs/definition_of_lynching.html
The NAACP's legal definition of what constitutes a "lynching."

BURNED AT THE STAKE
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5487
This 1893 article, written by a white New York Sun reporter who gives an eye-witness account of the brutal lynching of a black man in Texas, is notable for its odd mixture of fascination and disgust in relating the incident. 
 
BURNED INTO MEMORY: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN RECALLS MOB VIOLENCE IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY FLORIDA
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/67
This excerpt from a 1985 interview on a radio talk program details a black Southerner’s memory of witnessing a lynching in Florida, 1902 when he was just 5 years old.  He can still vividly recall the smell of burning flesh.

IDA B. WELLS ANTI-LYNCHING ARTICLE (Newspaper)
http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whoweare/exhibits/mitchell/miller.htm
A newspaper image and column that appeared in the Richmond Planet on August 26, 1893, as part of Ida B. Wells’ work as an anti-lynching journalist and advocate for Human Rights.
 
IDA B. WELLS PAMPHLET INTRO
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/murray:@field(DOCID+@lit(lcrbmrpt1612div1)):
The introduction to a publication by Ida B. Wells called Lynch Law in Georgia that included reports on the burning of Samuel Hose, the torture and hanging of a colored preacher, and the lynching of nine men for alleged arson.
 
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ANTI-LYNCHING BUREAU
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/murray:@field(DOCID+@lit(lcrbmrpt1711div0))
A letter, dated 1901, to the members of the Anti-Lynching Bureau from Ida B. Wells, who urges them to donate more money in order to strengthen the organization.

“LYNCH LAW NATIONAL DISGRACE”
http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/page.cfm?ID=9411
A newspaper column from a 1920 issue of the Cleveland Advocate, citing and condemning national statistics on the number of African Americans lynched since 1889, and urging that the law be enforced for protection against mob violence.

MISSISSIPPI LYNCHINGS (Table)
http://users.bestweb.net/~rg/lynchings/Mississippi%20Lynchings.htm
A sobering list of 538 names of people (the vast majority of whom were black) lynched in Mississippi from 1882 to 1930.  Included in the table is the offense for which the person was supposedly brought to justice.
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White Racism
 
“THEIR OWN HOTHEADEDNESS”: SENATOR BENJAMIN R. ‘PITCHFORK BEN’ TILLMAN JUSTIFIES VIOLENCE AGAINST SOUTHERN BLACKS.
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/55/
In this blatantly racist speech before the U.S. Senate in 1900, Senator Benjamin R. “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman of South Carolina defends white violence against black Southerners.   

OPINION: NOV 11, 1910
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/978.htm
A white supremicist opinion column from the Baltimore Sun, quoted in The Crisis in order to highlight continued racism in Baltimore.

THE SOUTHERN VIEW
http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/migrations/southern1.html
This statement illustrates the extreme racist sentiments that were common in the South in the first half of the 20th century, propelling many African-American citizens to the North.

AFRO-AMERICANS MUST KEEP ON ONE SIDE OF SIDEWALK
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/981.htm
An article that appeared in a 1915 issue of the Chicago Defender which describes an incident in Virginia in which a mayor issued an order to arrest any “Negro child” who “obstructed the sidewalks where white children were passing.”
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Jim Crow Laws
 
ORIGIN OF THE TERM JIM CROW
http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/historyGIS/greatmigration/gmdocs/jim_crow_origin.html
A short description of the origin of the term Jim Crow in 19th century minstrel shows, with a link to an audio file of the song, "Jump Jim Crow."

THE ‘JIM CROW’ CAR
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/979.htm
An article that appeared in a 1911 issue of The Crisis which convincingly criticizes railways for providing separate but unequal accommodations to African American passengers. 

JIM CROW LAWS (SOUTHERN STATES)
http://www.nps.gov/malu/documents/jim_crow_laws.htm
A sampling of Jim Crow law excerpts from various southern states

ALONG THE COLOR LINE: POLITICAL (ARKANSAS)
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1031.htm
A 1910 update by The Crisis on the proposed amendment to insert a “grandfather clause” into the Arkansas Constitution. 
 
READING THE FINE PRINT: THE GRANDFATHER CLAUSE (LOUISIANA)
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5352/
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1154.htm
Excerpts from a very confusing (purposely so) Article in the Constitution of the State of Louisiana restricting the voting rights of African Americans with techniques such as literacy, property ownership, and the “grandfather clause.”
 
ANNOTATED MISSISSIPPI CODE: UNLAWFUL MARRIAGES (MISSISSIPPI)
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/975.htm
A series of three sections from the 1927 Mississippi Code detailing which marriages are unlawful.  Interesting for its implication of equivalence between biracial marriages and incest.
 
CODE OF ALABAMA: JIM CROW LAWS (ALABAMA)
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/976.htm
A series of sections from the 1923 Alabama Code detailing prohibitions against biracial marriage, requirements of a poll tax, and goals for establishing separate schools for whites and blacks.  
 
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT THE CO-EDUCATION OF THE WHITE AND COLORED RACES (TENNESSEE)
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1155.htm
A series of sections from the 1901 Laws of Tennessee detailing various rules regarding the prohibition of “white and colored races from attending the same…places of learning.”
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Letters to the Defender and Other Northern Newspapers
 
“SIR I WILL THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART”: SEVEN LETTERS FROM THE GREAT MIGRATION
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5332/
http://www.macalester.edu/geography/mage/authentic/summer2002/lessons/hedenstrom/7%20Letters%20from%20the%20Great%20Migration.htm
Seven letters written to the Chicago Defender requesting various sorts of aid in migrating and finding employment in the North. 
 
LETTERS OF THE GREAT MIGRATION
http://www.people.memphis.edu/~kenichls/WA4Letters.htm
Two letters written to the Chicago Defender requesting aid in migrating and finding employment in the North. 
 
LETTERS FROM MISSISSIPPIANS, 1916-1918: ASKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE NORTH
http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/migrations/letters1.html
Three letters which ask for information about employment in the North. 
 
LETTERS FROM THE GREAT MIGRATION
http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/divine5e/chapter24/medialib/primarysources2_24_1.html
Three letters, two of which were written to the North in search of transportation and employment in Chicago, and one which was written from Philadelphia by a successful migrant sharing the good news about the North.
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Migration

CHICAGO DEFENDER: CHECKING MIGRATION
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/985.htm
A short column published in 1919 that criticizes the South’s hypocrisy for wanting the labor but not the citizenship of blacks, and that praises migration to the North as a way of escaping brutal treatment and exposing the South’s dependency on black labor.

OUTWARD MIGRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM ALABAMA
http://www.alabamamoments.state.al.us/sec47graph.html (If link is broken, click here for PDF)
A bar graph showing, in tens of thousands, the increasing outward migration of African Americans from Alabama from the 1900s to the 1960s.
 
NUMBER AND PERCENT OF NEGROES IN UNITED STATES… 1890-1920
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1107.htm
An interesting series of tables charting the increase of African Americans living in urban communities, and their decline in rural communities and in the South from 1890 to 1920.  From The Negro Yearbook, an Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1921-1922. 

THE EXTENT OF NEGRO PROGRESS
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1112.htm
This table charts the “remarkable progress” of African Americans in terms of economic, educational, and religious variables, such as homes owned, percent literate, and value of church property.  From The Negro Yearbook.
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Life Up North
 
“DON’T HAVE TO MISTER EVERY LITTLE WHITE BOY…”: BLACK MIGRANTS WRITE HOME
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5339/
Four letters written by African American migrants in 1917, and published in 1919 in the Journal of Negro History.  The letters describe what it feels like to be out of the South and provide insights into the diverse experiences migrants had in the North.
 
“WE THO[UGH]T STATE STREET WOULD BE HEAVEN ITSELF”: BLACK MIGRANTS SPEAK OUT
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5337
In 1917, Charles Johnson, research investigator for the Chicago Urban League, began interviewing migrants in Chicago and Mississippi.  Johnson’s summaries of his interviews conveyed a sense of migrants’ diverse responses to life in Chicago. 
 
“CAN I SCRUB YOUR WHITE MARBLE STEPS?”: A BLACK MIGRANT RECALLS LIFE IN PHILADELPHIA
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5338/
A interview by Charles Hardy with black migrant Arthur Dingle, who served in the Great War and worked with the Pennsylvania Railroad in Philadelphia. 

DEFENDER’S LEGAL HELPS: DISCRIMINATION
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/980.htm
A message published in a 1914 issue of the Chicago Defender encouraging any black person who is discriminated against in the Northwestern or Polk Railway Stations to report “the facts” to the paper’s Legal department.
 
ALONG THE COLOR LINES: ECONOMIC
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/977.htm
A brief, matter-of-fact report by The Crisis on housing discrimination in Baltimore.
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Labor in the North
 
“THE NEGRO AND THE WAR”: REPORTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5054
Five different reports from the Norfolk Journal and Guide, and one from the New York Call, arranged chronologically from March to September of 1917.  These documents deal primarily with race issues within the labor force, detailing especially union organization and challenges that faced colored unions. 
 
“EXPERIENCES OF A ‘HIRED GIRL’” AN EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY DOMESTIC WORKER SPEAKS OUT
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5323/
An anonymous African American domestic worker argues that there are insufficient wages, unreasonable hours, and intrusive supervision in the field of domestic service.  Published in 1912 in Outlook magazine. 
 
“SADIE’S SERVANT ROOM BLUES”: 1920S DOMESTIC WORK IN SONG
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/20
The struggles of domestic workers were recorded in songs such as this one, by Hattie Burleson in 1928.  The song criticizes the long hours, low pay, and lack of privacy of domestic work.
 
STATE OF NEW JERSEY MANUAL TRAINING & INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL FOR COLORED YOUTH
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1145.htm
A scanned advertisement page from a 1919 issue of The Crisis that describes various courses for “colored youth” in the Manual Training and Industrial School’s fall term. 

OCCUPATIONS. NEGROES PITTSBURGH INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS, 1916-1917
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1109.htm
A table that charts the various types of occupations held by African Americans in industrial Pittsburgh in 1916-1917, in terms of number and “per cent doing unskilled labor.  From The Negro Yearbook. 
 
OCCUPATIONS OF NEGRO WOMEN IN NEW YORK
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1110.htm
A table that charts the various trades in which African American women worked in New York.  From The Negro Yearbook.
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The Great War


"NO NEGROES ALLOWED": SEGREGATION AT THE FRONT IN WORLD WAR I
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5330
This account commemorated and celebrated African-American participation in the war, even as it noted segregation and discrimination within the effort to “save the world for democracy.”

"THE NEGRO AND THE WAR": REPORTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5054
Five different reports from the Norfolk Journal and Guide, and one from the New York Call, arranged chronologically from March to September of 1917.  The last piece is notable for it’s analysis of the Great War’s beneficial effects for African American labor.

"TO THE COLORED SOLDIERS OF THE U.S. ARMY"
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6655
This propaganda leaflet was dropped by German airplanes behind American lines during World War I. Nearly 370,000 African Americans were drafted into the U.S. Army starting in the fall of 1917 (they were not allowed to join the Marines, and the Navy took African Americans only as cooks and kitchen help). Although more than half of the black troops were in combat units, they remained segregated from white troops. Subjected to racist harassment (including demeaning insults from white officers), black troops were continually reminded of their second-class citizenship. By stressing racist conditions in the United States, leaflets such as this attempted to destroy morale and encourage desertion among African-American troops.

W.E.B. DU BOIS, "RETURNING SOLDIERS"
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1127.htm
This impassioned article in The Crisis was written by W.E.B. DuBois, calling for African American soldiers returning from war to continue their fight for democracy at home.

"THE NEW NEGRO": "WHEN HE'S HIT, HE HITS BACK!"
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5127
In the years immediately following World War I, tens of thousands of southern blacks and returning black soldiers flocked to the nation’s Northern cities looking for good jobs and a measure of respect and security. Many white Americans, fearful of competition for scarce jobs and housing, responded by attacking black citizens in a spate of urban race riots. In urban African-American enclaves, the 1920s were marked by a flowering of cultural expressions and a proliferation of black self-help organizations that accompanied the era of the “New Negro.” Many black leaders, including religious figures, embraced racial pride and militancy. This 1921 article by Rollin Lynde Hartt, a white Congregational minister and journalist, captured well what was “new” in the New Negro: an aggressive willingness to defend black communities against white racist attacks and a desire to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American communities in the North.
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Writings of W.E.B. Du Bois

"THE TALENTED TENTH", 1903
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1148.htm

NIAGARA'S DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES, 1905
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1152.htm

THE TENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NAACP, 1919
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1153.htm

THE SOCIAL EQUALITY OF WHITES AND BLACKS, 1920
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1137.htm

THE NEGRO MIND REACHES OUT (EXCERPTS), 1925
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1114.htm
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Poetry of the Great Migration

"ONE WAY TICKET" BY LANGSTON HUGHES
http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/art/index.html

"BOUND NO'TH BLUES" BY LANGSTON HUGHES
http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/art/hughes2.html

"THE LAND OF HOPE" BY WILLIAME CROSSE
http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/art/crosse1.html

"TIMES IS GETTIN' HARDER" BY LUCIOUS CURTIS

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5333/

"IT'S GREAT TO BE A PROBLEM" BY J.J.WORK
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1138.htm

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Images of the Great Migration

SHARECROPPING IMAGES
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/reconstruction/section3/section3_gallery.html

GREAT MIGRATION PHOTO GALLERY
http://www.inmotionaame.org/gallery/?migration=8&topic=99&type=image

GREAT MIGRATION MAP GALLERY
http://www.inmotionaame.org/gallery/?migration=8&topic=10&type=map

EMIGRANTS WAITING FOR A MISSISSIPPI RIVER BOAT
http://jchs.org/Journal/Spring%202002/Great%20Migration.htm

<>THE 1891 GRAIN DEALERS AND SHIPPERS GAZETTEER – ILLINOIS CENTRAL R.R. MAP
http://www.memoriallibrary.com/Trans/RRGaz/IC/map.htm
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Chicago Race Riot


"A CROWD OF HOWLING NEGROES": THE CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE REPORTS THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT, 1919
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4975/
The Chicago Daily Tribune, long considered the most antagonistic of all the city’s papers toward African Americans, detailed the day’s violence, the good deeds of white policemen who were sent to Chicago’s South Side, and the injuries they sustained at the hands of black rioters.

"GHASTLY DEEDS OF RIOTERS TOLD": THE CHICAGO DEFENDER REPORTS
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4976
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/982.htm
Like white newspapers, the city’s leading black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, helped foment the escalating racial violence that gripped the city. This article recounted the unsubstantiated beating of an “unidentified [black] woman” and her baby.

SEEKING THE CAUSE
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/983.htm
Another article from the Chicago Defender about the race riot.

"30 RACE MEN INDICTED IN CHICAGO RIOT PROBE; ONLY THREE WHITES"
http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/page1.cfm?ItemID=8618
A newpaper column appearing in the Cleveland Advocate decrying the unjust indictment of a disproportionate number of blacks in connection with the Chicago race riot of 1919.

THE CAUSES OF THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1126.htm
An article published in The Crisis seeking to analyze the causes of the race riot.

"SAYS LAX CONDITIONS CAUSED RACE RIOTS": CHICAGO DAILY NEWS AND CARL SANDBURG REPORT THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT OF 1919
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4974
An article by noted poet Carl Sandburg, who, unlike most white reporters, relied on black sources in researching his articles. The Chicago Daily News's reporting on the riot was generally considered the most evenhanded of the city’s daily newspapers

"THE PROBLEM" and "FAMILY HISTORIES": CHARLES JOHNSON ANALYZES THE CAUSES OF THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4977
A detailed and sober reporting of the causes of the 1919 Chicago race riot, written retrospectively by the interracial Chicago Commission on Race Relations.

"LET US REASON TOGETHER": WEB DU BOIS DEFENDS BLACK RESISTANCE
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5128/
In an editorial immediately following the Chicago race riot of 1919, Crisis editor W. E. B. Du Bois argued in favor of acts of self-defense and armed resistance, despite the editorial’s conciliatory title, "Let Us Reason Together."

"THE ONLY CURE": POLITICAL CARTOON
http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/984.htm
Published shortly after the Chicago riots, this political cartoon from the Defender shows a black and a white riot ringleader both waiting by the gallows.

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Census Data

HISTORICAL US CENSUS DATA BROWSER
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/histcensus/
The data presented here describe the population and economy of U.S. states and counties from 1790 to 1960.  From University of Virginia Library's Geostat Center.

INFORMATION ON US CENSUS ENUMERATION
Questions and Forms http://ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumForm.html ; Instructions http://ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumInstr.html
This site contains facsimile copies of the enumeration questions, forms, and instructions used in the decennial census of the United States from 1860 through 2000.






Adding documents of your own

If you would like to contribute online source documents that you have found and believe are relevant to this unit, please email Matt Lauterbach at matt79@uic.edu with the following information:
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