Great Migrations gives the word "move" a whole new meaning. This seven-part global programming event takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species. Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, the shows tell the powerful stories of many of the planet's species and their movements, while revealing new scientific insights with breathtaking high-definition clarity and emotional impact. The beauty of these stories is underscored by a new focus into these species' fragile existence and their life-and-death quest for survival in an ever-changing world. The National Geographic Great Migrations team spent two and a half years in the field, traveling 420,000 miles across 20 countries and all seven continents to bring this ambitious production to television.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Great Migrations - Great Migration (African American) - Netflix
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million African-Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West that occurred between 1916 and 1970. Until 1910, more than 90 percent of the African-American population lived in the American South. In 1900, only one-fifth of African-Americans living in the South were living in urban areas. By the end of the Great Migration, 53 percent of the African-American population remained in the South, while 40 percent lived in the North, and 7 percent in the West, and the African-American population had become highly urbanized. By 1960, of those African-Americans still living in the South, half now lived in urban areas, and by 1970, more than 80 percent of African-Americans nationwide lived in cities. In 1991, Nicholas Lemann wrote that the Great Migration:
was one of the largest and most rapid mass internal movements in history—perhaps the greatest not caused by the immediate threat of execution or starvation. In sheer numbers it outranks the migration of any other ethnic group—Italians or Irish or Jews or Poles—to [the United States]. For blacks, the migration meant leaving what had always been their economic and social base in America, and finding a new one.
Some historians differentiate between a first Great Migration (1916–1930), which saw about 1.6 million people move from mostly rural areas to northern industrial cities, and a Second Great Migration (1940–1970), which began after the Great Depression and brought at least 5 million people—including many townspeople with urban skills—to the north and to California and other western states. Since the Civil Rights Movement, a less rapid reverse migration has occurred. Dubbed the New Great Migration, it has seen a gradual increase of African-American movement to the South, generally to states and cities where economic opportunities are the best. The reasons include economic difficulties of cities in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, growth of jobs in the “New South” and its lower cost of living, family and kinship ties, and improved racial relations. As early as 1975 to 1980, several southern states were net African-American migration gainers, while in 2014, African-American millennials moved in the highest numbers to Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and California. African-American populations have continued to drop throughout much of the Northeast, especially from the state of New York and northern New Jersey, as they rise in the South.
Great Migrations - Numbers and destinations - Netflix
James Gregory calculates decade-by-decade migration volumes in his book, The Southern Diaspora. Black migration picked up from the start of the new century, with 204,000 leaving in the first decade. The pace accelerated with the outbreak of World War I and continued through the 1920s. By 1930, there were 1.3 million former southerners living in other regions. The Great Depression wiped out job opportunities in the northern industrial belt, especially for African Americans, and caused a sharp reduction in migration. In the 1930s and 1940s, increasing mechanization of agriculture virtually brought the institution of sharecropping that had existed since the Civil War to an end in the United States causing many landless black farmers to be forced off of the land. As a result approximately 1.4 million black southerners moved north or west in the 1940s, followed by 1.1 million in the 1950s, and another 2.4 million people in the 1960s and early 1970s. By the late 1970s, as deindustrialization and the Rust Belt crisis took hold, the Great Migration came to an end. But, in a reflection of changing economics, as well as the end of Jim Crow laws in the 1960s and improving race relations in the South, in the 1980s and early 1990s, more black Americans were heading South than leaving that region. African-Americans moved from the 14 states of the South, especially Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia. Census figures show that African Americans went from 52.2% of the population in 1920 to 45.3% of the population in 1950 in Mississippi, from 41.7% in 1920 to 30.9% of the population in 1950 in Georgia, from 38.9% in 1920 to 32.9% of the population in 1950 in Louisiana, from 38.4% in 1920 to 32.0% of the population in 1950 in Alabama, and 36.0% in 1920 to 31.0% of the population in Texas. Based on the total populations in each of the four states, only Georgia (-143,188) showed a net decrease in its African American population in 1950 compared to 1920. Louisiana (+183,256), Texas (+67,664), Alabama (+78,206) and Mississippi (+52,346) showed net increases in their African American populations in 1950 compared to 1920. Big cities were the principal destinations of southerners throughout the two phases of the Great Migration. In the first phase, eight major cities attracted two-thirds of the migrants: New York and Chicago, followed in order by Philadelphia, St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. The Second great black migration increased the populations of these cities while adding others as destinations, especially on the West Coast. Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Phoenix, Seattle, and Portland attracted African Americans in large numbers. There were clear migratory patterns that linked particular states and cities in the South to corresponding destinations in the North. Almost half of those who migrated from Mississippi during the first Great Migration, for example, ended up in Chicago, while those from Virginia tended to move to Philadelphia. For the most part, these patterns were related to geography, with the closest cities attracting the most migrants (such as Los Angeles and San Francisco receiving a disproportionate number of migrants from Texas). When multiple destinations were equidistant, chain migration played a larger role, with migrants following the path set by those before them. Some people migrated to Canada, enticed by British Columbia Premier James Douglas or by the 1910 immigration campaign by Canada's Clifford Sifton. Sifton and Citizenship and Immigration Canada did not anticipate that black farmers would file for homesteads in the Canadian Prairies and tried to turn them back. Unable to do so under the law of the time, Sifton and the Canadian government instead sent immigration representatives to US Southern states to deter black farmers from applying and also went on to implement racist immigration policies that were not lifted for decades. In 1962, following the Canadian Bill of Rights, Canada changed its immigration policy to allow persons of color to migrate to Canada again. Violet King Henry, the first black Canadian woman lawyer, was part of the senior team that changed Canadian policy and was descended from black pioneers to Amber Valley, Alberta, a landmark black community in Canada.
Great Migrations - References - Netflix