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found discrimination in the North although it was much different from
that which they had known in the South.
The Migration of the Negro, panel 49, 1940-41. Casein tempera
on hardboard, 18 x 12 in. (45.7 x 30.5 cm). The Phillips Collection,
Artwork © Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, courtesy of the Jacob and
Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation
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The majority of southern blacks migrated to the North with optimism;
however many were disappointed to find that it had its own brand of
discrimination. The constant influx of black migrants into northern
cities led to unprecedented levels of hostility on the part of northern
whites. Restrictive housing, living, and working policies abounded.
The city of San Francisco sent experts to the Midwest to study techniques
and strategies of exclusion.1 Black migrants were often
segregated into the most delapidated sections of the city, forced
to pay high prices for inferior housing, and discriminated against
in the workplace. Widespread unrest over these conditions was unleashed
race riots in 1919.
This panel shows a public dining space in the North. Blacks and whites
are divided by a yellow barrier that zigzags through the center of
the painting. The yellow dividing line is emphasized by the tilted
table tops and chairs situated against the background of the restaurant
floor. Tables and chairs are placed to reinforce the diners' separation.
Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than
individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination.
The term "racial discrimination" means any distinction,
exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, national
or ethnic origin.
1. Carole Marks, FarewellWe're Good
and Gone: The Great Black Migration (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana
University Press, 1989), p. 145.
Why do people discriminate?
Do you discriminate? How?
Have you ever experienced discrimination?
What kind? Age? Gender? Race? Employment?
How were you treated differently?
What was this discrimination based upon?
How did you feel?
Write one or two paragraphs describing your experience of discrimination.
Include details about what happened and how you felt.