Project SummaryGoin' North documents the First Great Migration of southern Blacks to northern cities unleashed by the First World War, including their lives in the South and reasons for moving north, rumors and expectations about life in the North, first impressions of the city, employment experiences in industrial occupations and service work, housing and homeownership, inter- and intra-race relations, political exclusion and then empowerment as part of Democratic coalition of the 1930s, Black nightlife and the city's commercial vice economy between the 1910s and 1930s, and personal life reflections on the move north and its impact in their lives. The interviews were conducted between 1979 and 1986 with Southern Blacks who had migrated to Philadelphia and Black Philadelphians who witnessed their arrival and impact upon the city. The interviews were conducted for "Goin' North: Tales of the Great Migration," a 5-part public radio documentary series first broadcast on WHYY-FM in 1984, then distributed nationally in 1994. In 2015, they were archived in the Nunn Center by the Philadelphia History Museum and Professor Charles Hardy III of West Chester University.
Interview excerpts have been featured in museum exhibits, books, and documentaries, including the National Museum of American History's "Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration, 1915-1940" exhibit (1986), the Race with History radio documentary series (2004), and "The City of Opportunity: A Walking Tour of Black Philadelphia in the Roaring Twenties," (2017). Full transcripts, indexes, and audio of forty-one of the interviews along with biographical sketches of narrators can be found on the Goin' North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia, website, which launched in 2014.