After the Reconstruction era the African American's population changed in the south during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This movement was quite radical in that they moved from the Southern states towards the Northern and Western states. This caused the African American populations to change in the South quite drastically and changed the population in the other area's to change drastically too. The Jim Crow laws were a big reason why the African Americans moved. These laws legalized discrimination and local segregation. These laws were a way for the whites to control the blacks and maintain a white supremacy in the South. The blacks could not sit in the same area on the railways as the whites, they had separate public restrooms, could not eat in white restaurants or enjoy entertainment in the same movie theaters as the whites. .
The African American's were seeking a more industrious life where the money was better and their years as slaves would prove them as hard workers. More political rights and a place with better economy than the south was another reason why they migrated. Many decided to move away from the "Lynch Mobs". Other reasons included severe floods on the cotton farms which caused the cotton to be ruined and the cotton economy begain to fail causing the loss of many African American jobs. Many Northern states needed labor due to World War I and they were offering higher wages than the South. Many African Americans found this as an advantage to change their economy. .
African Americans migrated throughout the United States into the Indian Territories, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, the Rockies and some came as far West as California. Many of the African Americans thought that they would not be discriminated against in the west and found out otherwise and some desired a state of their own in Oklahoma. Both Indians and the whites did not want to see a state that was considered a "Negro State", though an all black town was formed in 1891 in Langston, Oklahoma.