Where we live matters, and where Black people live has always been an important determinant of their political lives. My project is a book-length manuscript that will explain the political implications of Black migration following the Great Migration—a movement of more than six million Black Americans out of the South from 1915–1970. I will focus on current patterns in Black migration—including gentrification, displacement, and Return Migration back to the South—to question what these domestic migrations mean for political opportunity or exclusion among Black people in America. Further, the project will highlight the critical role of Black voters in determining the shape of politics at the national, state, and local levels. Support from the An American Dilemma for the 21st Century Grants Program will be used for one component of the larger project: a book chapter and related journal article. The chapter will provide historical perspective about Black migration in the South for the larger book project. It will include analysis of the role of the Great Migration in bringing individuals from rural to urban areas in the South and describe how Southern areas coped with population loss during the migration

Principal Investigator

Keneshia Grant

Associate Professor of Political Science, Howard University

Keneshia Grant, PhD is an associate professor of political science at Howard University where she studies the political impact of Black migration in the United States from 1915 to the present. Keneshia is the author of The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century (Temple University Press, 2020), which describes Black Americans’ movement into the Democratic Party during the 20th Century as a function of their migration to northern cities. Keneshia’s current research questions how return migration, gentrification, and displacement affect civic engagement among Black populations in cities and inner-ring suburbs. She is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and earned her PhD in political science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Keneshia lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Brandon Hogan, JD, PhD, and their dog Nina.