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The Second Great Migration
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Copyright the Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor. [A67.137.42056.3]

Dorothea Lange, McDonald Street, Richmond, Calif., ca. 1943

Heading Out West

West Coast cities - home to the booming war industries in the 1940s - were the prime destinations for most migrants. During World War II, the population of Seattle grew tenfold, from 4,000 to 40,000. The population of Portland, Oregon, during this period grew from 2,000 to 15,000. But California cities were a more common destination: between 1940 and 1950, more than 200,000 African Americans migrated to Los Angeles and San Francisco alone.

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