Modern America (1914-1929)
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Professor John R. Hawkins wrote this short pamphlet on behalf of the NAACP. In it he outlines African Americans' demands for justice and equality at home following World War I. The NAACP makes 14 demands in response to Wilson's "14 Points," in which the president outlined a plan for peace in the post-war world.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: Circa 1916

One of the first challenges for southern migrants who arrived in Northern cities like Chicago was finding a place to live. One report tells of a single day when 600 families applied to live in 53 housing units. Given the demand, unscrupulous landlords charged high rents for run-down apartments. Rapid population growth was not the only reason black…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1929

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as well as additional primary source materials for use in the classroom.

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Item Type: Viewer's Guide
Date: 2007

After World War I a "Red Scare" broke out as anxieties about political extremists and radicals led to widespread demonization and political persecution of leftists and immigrants. A series of high-profile events from the late-nineteenth century on, such as the Haymarket Square bombing and the assassination of President McKinley by Leon Czolgosz,…

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Item Type: Cartoon
Date: 1919

In July 1919, Chicago suffered a terrible race riot. An African-American teenager swimming in Lake Michigan floated into a "white" area and drowned after being stoned by a white crowd. Violence spread rapidly. Black Chicagoans, including World War I veterans, fought back. By the riot's end, 23 people had been killed and more than five hundred…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1919

In this memoir first published in 1952, Charles Denby, an African-American migrant from Alabama, recalls his train ride North and first night in Detroit, Michigan. In 1930, out of work because of the Great Depression, Denby moved back to the South. He returned to Detroit in 1943, where he became an member of the United Auto Workers union and was…

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Item Type: Biography/Autobiography
Date: 1952

Restrictions on immigration, largely aimed at would-be migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, gained considerable popular support during the 1920s. Anti-immigrant sentiment culminated in the Quota Act of 1921, which effectively reduced immigration from those areas to a quarter of pre-World War I levels, and in the even more restrictive…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1924

Restrictions on immigration, largely aimed at would-be migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, gained considerable popular support during the 1920s. Anti-immigrant sentiment culminated in the Quota Act of 1921, which effectively reduced immigration from those areas to a quarter of pre-World War I levels, and in the even more restrictive…
America's reputation as a land of welcome for immigrants has often been compromised by periodic calls to "shut the door" on immigration. At the turn of the twentieth century, the arrival of unprecedented numbers of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe led to growing public support for restrictive immigration laws. After a temporary slowing…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1924

Progressive social scientists, like economist Alvin S. Johnson, disagreed with those who held Mexican and other immigrants as racially inferior an undesirable. Instead, he and his peers claimed that Mexican government and culture were "inferior" and welcomed the opportunity to "Americanize" Mexican migrant workers.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 1916