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Student Projects: 20th Century Great Migration

The Great Migration (1915-1970) of more than six million African Americans out of the South to other regions of the United States is one of the most important and courageous movements in our nation’s history.  In search of true freedom, equality, and opportunity, those brave migrants – fleeing systemic racism, abuse, oppression, enforced poverty, and terror – transformed American culture, society, demographics, and politics in a multitude of ways, both tangible and intangible.  

Honors College students in U.S. History II classes have created artistic, literary, film, and music projects and have written research papers that educate us on the numerous reasons for and the lasting legacies of the Great Migration. Click on the links to explore their projects from the 2016 fall semester.

Gerard Barrientos: digital art “Vicious Circle” and narrative essay

Zain Battla, original film: “Echo: A Short Film on ‘Post-Racial’ America” 

Edward Filice: original poetry collection, “James Crow,” and “James Crow Narrative” 

Pasha Hammond, Justin Bui, and Trina Mercado: original song “The Migrants’ Song” 

Julia Hofmeister: “Housing in the Great Migration: Restrictive Covenants, Tenements, White Flight, and Personal Stories”

Luke Keller: original song performed, "Hit the Road, Ray” and words

Jonathan Kumar, performs songs of the Great Migration: "Amazing Grace," "Go Down Moses," "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," "Strange Fruit," and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

Isbah Mehar: “Music and Race in America” and narrative explaining the project 

Chris Nguyen: original piano composition, “The Warmth of Other Suns: Tribute” and the written music score 

Vivian Nguyen, audio jazz history 

Nolan Shah wrote the poem titled “What Life Can A Man Live?” 

Meredith Sorensen, created two replicas of the Chicago Defender (1 and 2) the most important African American newspaper during the Great Migration, which offered news and tips to migrants coming to Chicago.

Kaiser Tin-U, Andrea Delumpa, and Rajiv Ajodha, choreographed dance piece “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize"
Anne Yu, Andrew Lee, Chris Gervasio, and Heeren Ajuja, “Talk Show with Chris: Discussion about De Facto Racism”

To view images of additional projects,
click here.