Elizabeth Fitzgerald Article Review Econ 467 When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay Of the Great Black Migration By William J. Collins William J. Collins article “When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay of the Great Black Migration” discusses why the African American population move from the south to the urban north and the impact of this migration. It also discusses the variability of employment due to the influx of European Immigrants, and the racial tensions existing in the United States. From 1910 to 1950, 3.5 million African Americans relocated from the south to the urban north. They choose to reside in big industrial states including: Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. The African American migrants favored areas in which family or friends have already gone. The characteristics of the typical black migrant consisted of younger mainly between the ages of 15 and 44 and half of which were women. They were also poorly educated with the majority of their skills residing in the agricultural industry, although some had experience in southern industries and approximately 20 percent were illiterate. But they were better educated then the average African American adult living in the south. Since, the black migrants where better educated then the bulk of the southern black population, we see a tendency for African American migrants to pursue nonagricultural vocations, sometimes even before leaving the south. Upon reaching the urban north, African Americans still faced racism in employment opportunities. Most migrants found themselves employed as unskilled laborers or servants. Those who managed to obtain an industrial job where generally stuck on the ground floor of the operation, unable to get promotions. If by chance an African American got a promotion they faced harassment that usually either caused the person to be removes or they quit. In some cases, they were disposed of in violent ways including but not limited to being pushed into machinery. Most industrial jobs where filled white first then black laborers, no matter how much training they may have obtained. As a prime example of this behavior, Blacks in Detroit between 1920-1940 could only work for Ford Motor Company, due to their exclusion from other companies in the area. One of the only ways in which African Americans were able to get industrial jobs was by becoming strikebreakers. But by performing this role the animosity between white and black laborers increased. The white laborers perceived blacks as threatening outsiders. On the positive side it helped the African American to get their foot into the industrial door and gave the corporations of the north an incentive to learn how to effectively use black labor. But this also demonstrates that blacks where considered a reserve from a labor, under valuing the contribution that this labor pool could have produced with equal opportunities. Collins states that there has never been a concrete correlation between the influx of European Immigrants and the inability of African Americans to relocate and find jobs in the urban north. But through his research in the immigrant-as-deterrent hypothesis he tries to shed so light on the issue. He quotes Frederick Douglass’s observation from 1853: “Every hour sees the black man in the north elbowed out of employment be some newly arrived immigrant whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place.” Collins trying to evaluate the immigrant-as-deterrent hypothesis, be taken city and state level data, which included: the rate of black migration, the rate of foreign-born migration, the average wage of production workers at the beginning of the decade relative to the comparable wage in the South adjusted for state cost of living differences, the growth of manufacturing employment for wage earners, and the proportion of the population working as wage earners in manufacturing. When taking city level estimates the basic idea is to determine the black or foreign-born population had there been no migration. He took the estimate at the beginning of each decade and compared in to the actual population at the end of the decade. One of the problems, Collins states, is that during one decade half may be marked by the influx of black migrants, while the other half may be marked by an influx of foreign born immigrants. From his analysis of the state and level data, he found that on average African Americans moved at times and to places where foreign-born immigrants were less prevalent. Collin also poses the question: How many more blacks would have moved to the north if immigration laws where passed setting quotas on the number of foreign-born 165,000 immigrates per year? He found that the average foreign-born migration rate to the north was 81.61 per thousand populations between 1880 and 1920, but the rate was only 38.64 percent in the 1920’s. Collin also states that if the rate of 81.61 had continued into the 1920’s then we would have had 260,000 fewer blacks that might have moved north, which would have reduce the black migration approximately 30 percent.