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“People we can get along without.”

Between 1910 and 1920, 500,000 African Americans left the South for northern cities, pulled by the promise of jobs in booming wartime industries and pushed by disfranchisement, poverty, racial violence, and lack of educational opportunities. The “Great Migration” placed a strain on cities like Chicago, where the black population nearly doubled during this period to reach 100,000. A series of cartoons by Leslie Rogers published in the Chicago Defender, a weekly newspaper for the city’s African-American community, conveys some of the day-to-day tensions that existed between recently-arrived southern migrants and longtime residents. Rogers’ Defender comic strip, “Bungleton Green,” which started in 1920, featured the misadventures of a naive migrant from the South.

Source: Leslie Rogers, Chicago Defender, July 9, 1921—American Social History Project.