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The Great Migration
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Ohio Historical Society

From Skilled to Menial Jobs

It was not rare for skilled southern workers to become laborers in the North. A former coal miner was a janitor in Chicago, a tinsmith and a clergyman worked as laborers in the stockyards, the owner of a café was an elevator man, a plasterer labored in the steel mills, and a blacksmith became a janitor. This trend was common to other cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York.

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