After returning home from World War One, many African American soldiers expected to have earned the respect of the white American population. However, they arrived home to find that segregation was still high, and some black veterans were even lynched. The African American soldiers believed that because they fought for democracy under the American flag, they would now find true democracy, equality and respect at home.
This lack of change sparked the rise of the “New Negro” movement, and 1919 was a year of “race riots”. The black veterans no longer submitted to the white southern society’s segregation and racism, leading to a surge in lynch mobs. As the African Americans were no longer willing to ignore the discrimination, there was much more violence. Some African Americans who did not go to war were affected also. Many took over the jobs of the white men who went to war and upon their return, became unemployed.
The ‘race movement’ was led by Marcus Garvey, who focused on the ideas of self-sufficiency and separatism to inspire black nationalism. All of these situations had an effect on southern life and caused many African Americans to move north.