Pittsburgh & The Great Migration

Date(s) - 05/06/2023 - 02/04/2024
12:00 am

Frick Pittsburgh


This exhibition examines automobile ownership’s effect on Black lives during the Great Migration.

The phrase “Great Migration” refers to the period between 1916 and 1940 when an estimated six million African-Americans left the poverty and racial discrimination of the rural South hoping to have a better life in northern cities like Pittsburgh.

Buying a car is one of the first steps many take as they transition into the middle class, but for Black car owners, this step was more than just a symbol of “making it.” Automobile ownership provided a real sense of freedom. It was freedom from the remembered restraints of slavery, freedom from timetables of trains and buses, and most importantly, freedom of unrestricted mobility, the ability to come and go as one pleases.

This exhibit features well-known marques such as Buick, Pontiac and Cadillac, as well as period costumes and ephemera.

7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 United States