This chapter contains life histories of ten founding church elders, who are currently in their 80s and 90s. All of the narratives begin with a socio-historical snapshot of the elders' hometowns, followed by interviews covering their life experiences in both the North and the South. These experiences include employment patterns and salaries earned; “separate but equal” education during the Plessy v. Ferguson era; White on Black violence, such as false imprisonment and threats of and actual lynching; politics of sex between White men and Black women in the South; enculturation of White children in perpetrating racial violence and of Black children in surviving it; Black adult strategies for negotiating southern White terrorism and for migrating to and adjusting within urban life; economic survival strategies, such as sharecropping in the South and Black women's performing domestic “day labor” in the North; southern religious roots and new urban religious options; and colorism. The chapter concludes by exploring how these narratives inform Great Migration research.
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