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Beloit, Wisconsin and the Great Migration the Role of Industry, Individuals, and Family in the Founding of Beloit's Black Community 1914 - 1955

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Knowles, Lucas W.
Oberly, James Warren, 1954-
May 20, 2010
Fairbanks, Morse and Company (Beloit, Wis.); Employees--Recruiting--Wisconsin--Beloit; African Americans--Wisconsin--Beloit--History; African Americans--Migration--History--20th century; Migration, Internal--United States--History--20th century; Beloit (Wis.)--Economic conditions--20th century; Beloit (Wis.)--Race relations--History
The Great Migration of southern Blacks to northern cities in the first half of the twentieth century is a well documented historical topic. Southern Blacks who had grown restive of the Jim Crow south headed north to urban settings seeking employment and a better life. As a result of this process, many Midwestern cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee experienced drastic social changes. Another city which became a destination during the Great Migration is the small city of Beloit, Wisconsin. Early twentieth century Beloit was a lively manufacturing locale centered on Wisconsin's southern border. At the onset of the First World War, Fairbanks, Morse and Company was experiencing a manpower shortage. To fill the void Fairbanks, Morse and Company began recruiting southern Black men to work in their factory. By offering jobs and housing, Fairbanks, Morse and Company established Beloit as a destination for southern Blacks seeking to leave the south. The research will focus on the events that led to Beloit becoming a Great Migration destination. The role of industry, individuals, and family will be examined to provide the reasoning behind Beloit as a destination during the Great Migration. Overall, the focus will be on the factors that led to Black migration to Beloit in the first half of the twentieth century and the early development of the Black community.
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