Tuskegee Airmen pose for a photograph.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Fighting for Democracy: Bill Terry and the Tuskegee Airmen
Throughout the South and the nation, Jim Crow laws were enacted to force segregation in public places. From public restrooms and lunch counters, to schools and jobs, the law limited interaction—and sometimes merely proximity—between blacks and whites. Many African Americans fled their homes in order to avoid persecution, and many of them ended up in the northeast and west. The “Great Migration,” as it has come to be known, resulted in a shift of the South’s demographics.
How do you think black Americans "voting with their feet" affected the South or their own prospects?
The exhibit Fighting for Democracy highlights Compton, California, athlete Bill Terry (pictured left). Born in 1921, Terry lived in a city that had been directly affected by the Great Migration; his hometown of Los Angeles experienced over a tenfold increase of black residents between 1900 and 1930. Even with the influx of black citizens to northern and western cities, many still confronted racial discrimination in housing, economic opportunities and in social settings.