I love the Blues.
As the 20th century progressed things changed. The increasing mechanisation reduced the need for so much labour and the rural work-force started to migrate from Mississippi to the cities in search of work. The big northern cities of Detroit and Chicago had the factories and car production that required workers. The money was good and it proved a big pull.
I went to Chicago in 1971. Walking the streets of Chicago in the seventies was a daunting experience. The skyscrapers loomed over the underpasses and it felt very forbidding. I found it quite threatening. During the fifties the southern states were full of segregation, intimidation and Jim Crow but the Northern cities were even more dangerous. The places were full of gangsters, pimps and murder. You carried a gun and a knife and the murder rate was high. It felt like that to me. It was scary.
A staging post…
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