Historian Allyson Hobbs on the Great Migration

Last May, C-SPAN came to campus to tape a lecture given by ALLYSON HOBBS, assistant professor of history at Stanford, as she taught her course Freedom Now: African American History, 1865-1965.

The topic of that day’s lecture was the Great Migration, the movement of millions of African Americans from the South to the North and the West between 1910 and the ’70s.

Hobbs’ lecture provides a sweeping examination of the historical, economic and social factors that brought about the Great Migration and the opportunities and challenges it spawned. She ended on a personal note, showing a photo of her father as a young boy of 4 after he had moved with his family to Chicago from Augusta, Ga. Her father went on to study at the University of Illinois, became a military captain and then an engineer for NASA and IBM.

“His parents’ decision to move to Chicago enabled him to live a very comfortable life,” Hobbs told her students. “He would have survived, but he may not have flourished in the ways that he did. And as a daughter of the Migration, I might not have the wonderful opportunity that I have today to teach brilliant students like you.”

Hobbs’ lecture, which originally aired July 30 as part of C-SPAN’s Lectures in History series, will be rebroadcast Monday, Sept. 5, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time (4 p.m. Eastern Time) on C-SPAN-3.

You also can watch the full lecture or a preview on the  C-SPAN.org website.