Land ownership, enterprise, and businesses were under attack. Many were forced into sharecropping or slave-like labor teams. As a result, millions fled the South to the North and West searching for a freer society. These migrants contributed to the growth of northern cities like Pittsburgh. From 1900 to 1930, Pittsburgh witnessed an 80% increase in its African American population. They were drawn by the promise of good paying jobs, housing, and social freedoms. What many found was an increasingly segregated society that placed African Americans at the lower point of the economic totem pole. Even in the steel mills and its subsidiary industries, African Americans overwhelmingly received the lowest paid, unskilled, and most dangerous jobs even when they had experience working in mills in the South.


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