After the Civil War, the South went through a period of rebuilding, termed Reconstruction, but because many white people in the South were not ready to accept African Americans as equals, unfair laws were passed which restricted the rights of blacks. These Black Codes and Jim Crow laws left African Americans adrift in a segregated world.
Life was better in the North in many ways for African Americans. The 1920s brought jobs and money - until The Great Depression hit. The Depression left many homeless and jobless. Many blacks left the cities seeking jobs wherever they could find them. Despite the hard times that followed, living in the North continued to bring a renewed sense of freedom to many African Americans.