Great Migration Resources Page

Use the Data Gathering Worksheet to take notes from documents.
Download the Tutorial for using the worksheet.
Examples of students' work: worksheet and final project
Link to the UIC-PT3 Module on Historical Inquiry

Primary Source Document Collections


Sample documents

History Matters - City University of New York 

7 Letters to the Chicago Defender, 1917

"Their Own Hotheadedness": speech by Senator Benjamin R. "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman

American Memory - Library of Congress 

"Lynch Law a National Disgrace", 1920

African American Mosaic - Library of Congress 

Chicago: Destination for the Great Migration

Journal of Negro History - issues back to 1916, Only Available from University Computers 

Letters of Negro Migrants 1916-1918

WPA slave narratives - University of Virginia

Documenting the American South - University of North Carolina

Data Resources

USA historical data maps - maps of African American populations from census data 1890-1960, from University of Illinois at Chicago's Big City Teacher Preparation Initiative, as well as some other US data maps 

Chicago historical data maps - DePaul University's collection of maps of Chicago's African American community in 1910, 1920, and 1960-1990, used in Black Metropolis Revisited

Current urban population maps - California State University's Electronic Map Library, with census data (1990 and/or 2000) on several US cities, including the "Digital Atlas of Chicago"

Historical census database - search census data back to the first census in 1790.  From the University of Virginia. 


City of Chicago sources

Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District - City of Chicago

Douglas/Grand Boulevard - Chicago Historical Society

Chicago Landmarks in African American History - City of Chicago

1919 Chicago Race Riot and the Coroner's Report documents -  Chicago Public Library'


Other Secondary Sources on the Great Migration

Chicago's Black Metropolis lessons - from Teaching with Historic Places, National Registry of Historic Places,National Park Service

FLY AWAY: The Great Migration: The Movement of African Americans from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago - from the North by South project

Heading North: Economic Impact of The Great Migration - Assignment page from a college course on the migration.  Includes many paintings and great links to other resources

For more information email Josh Radinsky: