Soaring Southward: Reverse Migration and the Black Community

William Jourdain, Fordham University


This research aims to analyze Reverse Migration in Southern cities with the contextual focus of the Black community in America. Building a self-sustaining community in America has always been a challenge for Black Americans. Despite the “Great Migration” of Blacks from the South to Northern, Western and Midwestern cities between 1910-1970s, the effort to build a sustainable community over the past 100 years has been continuously thwarted by devised systems of oppression. Most recently, the effects of gentrification, private-public partnerships, misdirected investment -- all under the guise of economic revitalization in urban centers, more specifically in the Northeastern and Midwestern urban core have seemingly caused Black Americans to become displaced. For these reasons, a good portion of Black Americans have sought to relocate to Southern cities to pursue a better quality of life. I explore what social scientists refer to as Reverse Migration and examine the reasons how and why reverse migration seems to be such a phenomenon in the black community. I examine a population shift and focus on the economic, cultural, and structural aspects. This paper investigates 1) the in – migration patterns of Black Americans into specific Southern cities with a contextual lens on the cultural vs the structural aspect 2) its impact on the socio-political climate and economy of prominent cities where in – migration is prevalent 3) the understanding of community building and its relevance to black communities 4) and, the possible contributions reverse migration has made to community building amongst Black Americans.

Subject Area

Sociology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Jourdain, William, "Soaring Southward: Reverse Migration and the Black Community" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27959990.