African American women and the Second Great Migration will be the subject of a Black History Month lecture by Dr. Lisa Krissoff Boehm. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held Feb. 14 at noon in the Rondileau Campus Center, room 201.
Drawing from evidence collected for her 2009 book, Making a Way Out of No Way, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies will discuss the history and impact of the five million African Americans who left the southern states and headed north in the years between the Great Depression and the 1960s, with a particular focus on the women involved.
The field was wide open when Dr. Boehm began her research on the topic in 1999.
“I thought it was really important to get the women’s perspective on the Second Great Migration, because no one had done that before,” she said. “Many people thought that the women moved because the men in their family had come north.”
That wasn’t always the case, as Dr. Boehm’s work showed. Her research, which in addition to textual evidence, included interviews with more than 40 women who’d made the journey.
“So, you really get the voices of the migrants themselves,” she said.
The Second Great Migration changed the demographics of the North, Dr. Boehm said. The migrants left due to the persistent racism of the south and the Jim Crow laws, but when they arrived in the north they still faced prejudice.
While the event is free, the sponsors ask that you RSVP Kristine.Bohmer@bridgew.edu in order to reserve your spot and ensure that there is enough lunch for everyone.