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The Great Migration
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, General Research and Reference Division

The Crisis, March 1920

Violence and the Migration

Between 1889 and 1932, over 3,700 people were lynched in the United States, more than 85 percent of them in the South. The lack of protection from mob violence was one of the reasons that pushed southerners to migrate north. The Chicago Urban League reported that after each lynching, the number of people arriving from the area where the murder had taken place increased.

The Southwestern Christian Advocate, an African-American newspaper, wrote on April 26, 1917: "[S]ome months ago Anthony Crawford, a highly respectable, honest and industrious Negro, with a good farm and holdings estimated to be worth $300,000, was lynched in Abbeville, South Carolina. He was guilty of no crime. He would not be cheated out of his cotton. That was insolence. . . . [The mob] overpowered him and brutally lynched him. Is any one surprised that Negroes are leaving South Carolina by the thousands? The wonder is that any of them remain."

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