Segments in this Video

Searching for the Promised Land (02:46)

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The greatest peacetime migration in American history occurred between World War II and 1970. Approximately 5 million people left the South and migrated northwards, many to Chicago.

Migrants Realizing Dreams (04:01)

Rev. Ernest Whitehead came to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta in 1946. He says that the people of the south created the culture of Chicago. James Hinton, one of 22 children born to sharecroppers arrived in 1951 and started a business. He would not recommend moving to Chicago, the drug problem and unemployment rate is too high.

Female Police Officer (03:55)

Joanna Johnson's parents were migrants. She became one of the first black female police officers in Chicago; a female cop was killed on duty, dispelling the belief that female officers were not in danger. The largest housing project in America is within Johnson's precinct.

Unafraid Migrants (03:46)

Sharon King lives with her five children in Chicago projects, Robert Taylor Homes. Sharon King describes a shooting that happened in the projects. Steve Luster became the president of a cosmetic firm in Chicago.

Danger in the Projects (03:20)

The Chicago housing projects are among the most dangerous in country. In the late 1960s, single mothers began moving into the homes. The Disciples and the Vice Lords have been at war for years, and are among the most powerful gangs in America.

Two Sides of Chicago (03:28)

Hinton says it is rare for young black males in Chicago to reach the age of 25. Luster gives a tour of his lavish home. Vernon Jarrett is disillusioned by the "promise land" that is jobless and drug ridden.

Physical and Financial Segregation (04:13)

King dreams of winning the lottery and buying a home in a place safer than the projects. City Hall is four miles from the Robert Taylor Homes. Chicago is now the most racially segregated city in America.

Work and Destruction (03:43)

Jarrett describes the "glass ceiling"effect that black children face. King recalls her son being shot from behind.

Death Trap for Black Men (03:25)

Johnson's brother robbed her house during his battle with drug addiction. He was found dead, having killed himself in an abandoned building.

War on Poverty (03:27)

Labor is obsolete in Chicago. The poor remain isolated and do not count on help from the outside. Whitehead teaches economics and renovates buildings near the church.

Black Gold Mine (02:26)

Bronzeville was once the center of the black culture in Chicago; white housing developers assess its value. Johnson's parents migrated to Chicago from Mississippi, but she intends to move to Mississippi once she has retired.

Hard Work and Endurance (01:57)

Hinton returns to Alabama every summer and recalls a time when there were few restaurants that would accept his family because of their race. In the 1950s, the KKK posed a threat so large his family only stopped once for gas. Hinton left Alabama as a young man because there was no work.

Returning Home (02:25)

People are starting to return to the South 50 years after the great migration. Uless Carter moved to his birthplace after a busy life and losing some of his health.

Racial Segregation (03:25)

Though legal segregation ended, black neighborhoods and shopping areas still exist in the South. Hinton returns to the Mississippi farmland he lived on 30 years prior.

Ingredients of Survival (02:07)

Mississippi remains the poorest state in America. The people endured slavery, emancipation, and migration.

Credits: The Walls of Jericho: The Promised Land (01:11)

Credits: The Walls of Jericho: The Promised Land

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The Walls of Jericho: The Promised Land

Part of the Series : The Promised Land
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Description

Today more than a third of the population of Chicago is black. It's a direct result of the Great Migration between the 1930s and 1970s when more than five million black Americans left the Deep South for "the promised land." The black tenement blocks of the South and West sides of Chicago are now battle grounds for America's most powerful gangs. They are among the most dangerous places in America. A BBC Production.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL115701

ISBN: 978-1-63521-010-1

Copyright date: ©1996

Closed Captioned

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