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THERE WERE ONLY TWO BOOKS THE SOUTHERN NEGRO USED TO GO NORTH

THERE WERE ONLY TWO BOOKS THE SOUTHERN NEGRO USED TO GO NORTH


Between 1916 and 1918 alone, nearly 400,000 African Americans - five hundred each day - took what they hoped was a journey into freedom.

The migration was a watershed in the history of African Americans. It lessened their overwhelming concentration in the South, opened up industrial jobs to people who had up to then been mostly farmers, and gave the first significant impetus to their urbanization.

In 1910, seven million of the nation's eight million African Americans resided below the Cotton Curtain. But over the next fifteen years, more than one-tenth of the country's black population would voluntarily move north. To move north the negro used two books for comfort and security. The Negro Motorist Green Book many Black Americans took with them, in part to avoid segregation on public transportation, hotels, restaurants and gas stations. As the writer George Schuyler put it in 1930, "all Negroes who can do so purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult. They used the Green Book to help them along the way as they traveled north. The King James Bible was carried for comfort as to bring Jesus along the way as a piece of divine security.