Four great migrations defined the history of black people in America: the Middle Passage, the violent removal of Africans to the east coast of North America; the relocation of one million slaves to the interior of the antebellum South; the movement of more than six million blacks to the industrial cities of the north and west a century later; and since the late 1960s, the arrival of black immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. Ira Berlin's account of these passages evokes both the terrible price and the moving triumphs of a people forcibly and then willingly migrating to America.
Ira Berlin is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Maryland. His many books include Slaves Without Masters, Generation of Captivity, and Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Recorded On: Wednesday, February 23, 2011