Citing the return of half a million African Americans to the rural South, a study provides an economic and social analysis of migration, poverty, and the urban underclass
Many books have told the epic story of the black migration from the South, a migration that by the 1970s had all but stopped. Instead, one by one African Americans began returning to some of the least promising places, places the Department of Agriculture calls "persistent poverty counties." In Call to Home, Carol Stack tells us why.Here are the stories of people trading their apartments in the city for trailers, old cabins, or brick houses built along dusty Southern back roads. Some were pushed rather than drawn back by rootlessness, joblessness, and urban decay. Others, made stronger by the uncompromising demands of city life, came home determined to apply the hard lessons they'd learned up north to build new lives in the South. Still others returned to recover what they had lost. Children often were sent home first, either to be cared for or to help care for grandparents who never left.Call to Home is the story of hardships - of starting over, of poverty, of rural life - but is also the story of success, of how people determined to build real communities and to set things right helped to establish the right of black Americans to participate as full citizens in the American South.