Moving to the North for job opportunities, Southern African-Americans still faced discrimination in Rockford – News – Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — From 1915 to 1970, more than 6 million African-Americans left the rural South to settle in the urban North, a population shift known as the Great Migration.

Some settled in Rockford.

Driven by a desire to escape legal segregation and hoping for opportunity in the manufacturing economy of the North, they left behind beloved family members, cultural traditions and warm weather. Their new home proved to be a mixed blessing, with Jim Crow replaced by more subtle forms of discrimination.

In a series of recent interviews, 10 Rockford residents shared memories of life in the South during the time frame of the Great Migration. Many of those memories were fond.

Flossie Vance, 90, who grew up in Warren, Arkansas, called it…

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