Why Are Blacks Moving South?
Friday, March 20
4:00 Reception, 5:30 pm Lecture & Discussion
Porter Hall 100
Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia
Between World War I and the late 1960s, more than five million African Americans left the U.S. South to move to the North and West. This movement, the Great Migration, would transform the social, cultural, economic, and political landscape of America. Since 1970, however, more African Americans have been moving to the U.S. South than leaving the region. This lecture will focus on this reverse migration to the South by presenting data from more than 120 in-depth interviews I conducted with African Americans who were born and raised in the North and West and have now moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. I present findings about why African Americans are moving to the South and about the unsettled feelings some of them manage as they move in search of opportunity.
Sabrina Pendergrass is an assistant professor of African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Her research and teaching interests include race, inequality, internal migration, cultural sociology, and the U.S. South. She has published on these topics in Poetics, the Du Bois Review, Race and Social Problems, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Her research also has received awards from the Association of Black Sociologists and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Sabrina is working on a book manuscript about the African American reverse migration to the South. The manuscript, under contract with Oxford University Press, examines the economic, social, and cultural experiences of African Americans who were born and raised in the North and West and are now moving to the South.