The story of the Black Great Migration will come alive as Amtrak honors the landmark movement in American history during an exhibit at National Train Day in Philadelphia on May 7.
“Amtrak is honored to host the Great Migration exhibit during the National Train Day events in Philadelphia,” Emmit H. Fremaux, Amtrak’s vice president of marketing and product development, said in a statement. “Through historic documents and compelling images, the exhibit recounts the significance of rail travel during a crucial time in the history of African Americans.”
The exhibit was created by a coalition of groups that collect Black history artifacts, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library, the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the Library of Congress..
The displayed documents and photos will detail the migration of African-Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest and West through passenger and freight trains. The movement, which peaked in the 1930s, was a key moment in the nationalization of the African American population. Dr. Allen Ballard, University of Albany History/African American Studies professor will discuss the vital role the Great Migration had on America’s railroad history.
United States Colored Troops and Union League reenactment performers will interact with attendees and share their unique history during the event.