American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War

During World War I, tens of thousands of African Americans fled the South. In Up South, a Mississippi barber and a sharecropper woman tell how they organized groups to escape Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and forced labor. The promise of freedom and full citizenship drew them to Chicago. Once there, the migrants faced poor housing, discrimination on the job, and racial violence. They responded by forming women’s clubs, engaging in political campaigns, and creating the “New Negro” movement. (Length: 30 minutes)

Up South offers a fresh perspective on the Great Migration. By allowing the migrants to tell their own stories, the filmmakers have brilliantly transformed a classic migration tale into a touching, deeply personal, narrative of hope, survival and resistance.”
— Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Viewer’s Guide (.pdf)


See teaching activity for this film in HERB

En Español

Up South with Spanish Subtitles: This DVD is now available with optional Spanish subtitles and the translated script.


Download Script in Spanish (.pdf)

Ahora disponible con subtítulos y la escritura en español.


Descargue el guión traducido al español (.pdf)

All Documentaries by ASHP