Economic Aspect


Through economic perspective, one reason for movement from the south was the lack of employment opportunities. The definition of economics is the “description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services” (Merriam-Webster).  In economics there is a theory called the Push-Pull Theory, “A theory of migration that says people migrate because certain things in their lives "push" them to leave, and certain things in a new place "pull" them” (Kersey 3). The South was virtually in an economic depression. Job availability was declining rapidly and even more so for blacks. Jobs for southern African-Americans were degrading and payed very little. Many black southerners were limited to sharecropping, due to their limited skill set. This held true for Ida Mae Gladney and her husband, George, who both worked as sharecroppers. According to Ida Mae, “he took half of whatever they produced…deducted debts he said they owed from their share…gave them a few dollars at settlement” (Wilkerson 96). The sad part is, Ida Mae and George were in a better employment situation than many. Ida Mae stated, “Edd Pearson was about the best boss a colored sharecropper could hope for” (Wilkerson 96). Though their employment statues would have been considered “good”, Ide Mae and George longed for more opportunities for themselves. Thus spawning their exodus to the North.  Juts as the Gladney’s pushed towards the North for better employment opportunities so did my great grandparents. My great grandmother could only attain service jobs such as being a nanny, chauffeuring, and being a maid. My great grandfather was a traditional man and believed that his wife should not have to endure such menial jobs. Therefore he worked three jobs, but as the economy began to fall many jobs began to lay off employees. With no employment opportunities available my great grandparent packed up their lives, as well as their two children, and moved to Alameda, CA.