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The Blues and the Great Migration

  • Students will examine the factors that prompted African Americans to migrate from the South to northern cities during the Great Migration, including the burdens of the sharecropping economy and racial discrimination
  • Students will examine how the editors of the Chicago Defender newspaper encouraged African Americans in the South to seek relocation
  • Students will examine songs by Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf that reflect and symbolically manage an African American experience of displacement
  • Students will examine the role of Chicago’s Chess record label in popularizing an urban blues sound predicated on electrified instruments and ensemble playing

Access The Blues and the Great Migration and accompanying materials on TeachRock’s website.