Notwithstanding that many of the Southern negroes who went North last winter, literally “caught fits” in the cold climate, and many died of pneumonia and other ailments, still some in the South are yet inclined to leave the only place where they will ever be treated kindly, and go North. It was last Saturday that one or two Alabama counties reported that “labor agents” had worked up crowds of negroes who would go North as soon as those agents came with the transportation and “other inducements” but read here a report which came out from Atlanta on the same date.
The exodus of negroes from the south to the northern cities, where they have been lured by immigration agents holding out false promises of high wages and social equality with white people, seems to have reached the high water mark and is now receding, with a backswing of negroes, toward the south. But hundreds of the poor victims will never return and extremely pitiful reports come from the chairity and social service organizations in northern cities, telling of the suffering and hardships endured by southern negroes who went from the warm climate of their native land to the bitter winter of the north. The accounts of these hardships told by negroes who have been so fortunate as to get back to the south will probably do more than anything else to stop the northern exodus.
Union Springs Herald, 1917