The Southern Diaspora

How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America

by James N. Gregory

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About the Book

The Southern Diaspora: How The Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America is the first historical study of the Southern Diaspora in its entirety. Between 1900 and the 1970s, twenty million southerners migrated north and west. Weaving together for the first time the histories of these black and white migrants, James Gregory traces their paths and experiences in a comprehensive new study that demonstrates how this regional diaspora reshaped America by "southernizing" communities and transforming important cultural and political institutions. 

Winner of the 2006 Philip Taft Labor History Book Award.

Read the catalogue description and advance reviews.

Read the Preface and Introduction.

Newspaper reviews:

Journal reviews:

H-Net reviews:

  • H-Urban review by M. Christine Anderson (republished on H-Labor, H-Pol, H-Afro-Am, H-West, and others)

Here are also supplementary materials that are mentioned in the book. Click on the highlighted links to access photos,  supplemental charts and tables, bibliography and online links.


Table of Contents


  1. A Century of Migration

  1. Migration Stories

  1. Success and Failure

  1. The Black Metropolis

  1. Uptown and Beyond

  1. Gospel Highways

  1. Leveraging Civil Rights

  1. Re-figuring Conservatism

  1. Great Migrations

        Appendix A   Tables

        Appendix B   Note on methods