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The Great Migration

The largest migration of African Americans into Milwaukee took place between 1900 and 1935. During this time African Americans poured into the city to be employed; primarily in domestic and personal service positions.


With the European population dominating industrial occupation, African Americans found themselves working as servants and cooks to White clientele. The coming of World War ll would change the lifestyle for Milwaukee's African American working class as the number of European immigrants declined due to conflict and war.


This shortage in White labor would soon make way for African Americans in Milwaukee to ascend to middle class status by way of Milwaukee industrialists who had to fill vancant positions in order to sustain their businesses.