This introductory chapter outlines the central themes and methodologies underpinning this book. It discusses the factors for slow black economic progress in the North following the Great Black Migration. Despite the promise of the North and despite optimistic predictions, black migration to industrial cities did not lead to economic parity with whites either for the migrants themselves or for their children during the mid-twentieth century. This chapter introduces a new element to the story by pointing out that that the persistent influx of black migrants to northern labor and housing markets had created competition for existing black residents in an economic setting already constrained by weakening labor demand and northern racism.
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