Still, in 1910, nearly 90 percent of American blacks lived in the South, four-fifths of them in rural areas.

Emigration from the South gained more traction with the advent of several important developments, chiefly economic, beginning in the second decade of the 20th century.118 In the South the depressed cotton market and a series of natural disasters reduced even the rare independent black landowner to sharecropping or tenant farming, trapping him in a cycle of indebtedness.


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