Date of Award

Spring 2022

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Claire Strom

Committee Member

Joshua Savala

Committee Member

Rachel Walton


The purpose of this study is to add nuance to the understanding of the Great Migration period, not only as a period of migration of North to South. The lives and migration of African Americans living in Hannibal Square and Eatonville highlight that African Americans were not just moving North. The Great Migration became more than a simple movement; it was a complex tapestry of African Americans moving where they felt the best opportunities were. This examination will stand within the bound of the early Great Migration period, from 1920 to 1940. The growth of each community will be analyzed from three different perspectives: men’s employment, women’s employment, and culture. These three different areas highlight why African Americans moved to each respective community and their key differences. By examining these two Southern Black communities in the interwar years, Eatonville and Hannibal Square, this study aims to illuminate the greater discrepancies and subtleties of the Great Migration period that are often under-discussed and examined. The stories of Black residents moving to Hannibal Square and Eatonville highlight a more nuanced narrative of the Great Migration. Rather than simply moving North, African Americans moved for cultural, economic, and social incentives, no matter if they were in the North or South.

Rights Holder

Margaret Stewart