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Post-war African-American Migration

Throughout its history, Wisconsin has attracted people from diverse backgrounds. Unlike many of the older states to the east and south, Wisconsin was not a place where white Protestant and English-speaking people developed a social, political, and economic dominance. The tensions and conflicts that occurred were primarily centered along religious and linguistic lines, rather than race, as various ethnic groups settled in the state. However, in the twentieth century, as more African Americans came to Wisconsin seeking jobs in urban areas, race became the overriding factor that determined the circumstances under which they were allowed to settle and become a... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: African American housing conditions in Milwaukee in 1955  African American housing conditions in Milwaukee in 1955
Link to book: Milwaukee residents discuss the city's racial problems, 1965  Milwaukee residents discuss the city's racial problems, 1965
Link to book: A 1950 guide to African American businesses  A 1950 guide to African American businesses
Link to book: Wisconsin's African American population from statehood through 1910  Wisconsin's African American population from statehood through 1910
Link to book: A survey of black families in rural Wisconsin, 1959  A survey of black families in rural Wisconsin, 1959
Link to manuscript: An African American woman describes her migration to Wisconsin in 1917  An African American woman describes her migration to Wisconsin in 1917
Link to manuscript: A detailed look at Milwaukee's black community in 1946  A detailed look at Milwaukee's black community in 1946
Link to manuscript: William Rasche advocates on behalf of African American workers  William Rasche advocates on behalf of African American workers
Link to places: Segregated company housing takes shape in Beloit  Segregated company housing takes shape in Beloit

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to book: Wisconsin Blue Books  Wisconsin Blue Books
Link to book: Wisconsin celebrates 50 years of black freedom, 1915  Wisconsin celebrates 50 years of black freedom, 1915
Link to collections: Explore 400 years of African American history and migration  Explore 400 years of African American history and migration

Related Links

Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Discover how African American migration trends have begun to reverse
Visit the Wisconsin Black Historical Society
Watch a video clip about an African American resort area

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