One of the most surprising connections of the American Revolutionary era emerged at the very beginning of the war between the African American poet Phillis Wheatley and the commander in chief of the American forces, George Washington.
Four black college students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College staged the first of the Civil Rights Movement’s sit-ins. The students sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attempted to order but were refused service. The sit-in movement grew to more than 140 cities. Participants faced harassment, violence, and arrest in their attempts to integrate public lunch counters.
The Chicago Defender was an influential black newspaper founded in 1905 that, during the early and mid-twentieth century, was a major force in encouraging the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North.
Labor agents were facilitators of black migration during the Jim Crow era. Labor agents were paid by northern industrialists to recruit southern blacks to work in factories in the North. Though labor agents helped bring black workers to the North, many African Americans eventually returned to the South after finding work and living conditions in the industrialized North untenable.
Scabs are workers who break labor strikes or who are hired to replace striking workers. During the Jim Crow era, African Americans were sometimes hired as scab workers (often for much lower compensation than the white workers they were replacing).