aE There is a sense right from the very beginning of this novel that Robert Jones wants too much from the society into which he was born. As the nation changes however, his dreams do not seem as farfetched as they previously had.
It was not until World War Two that the racial problems between white and black Americans, which had always been thought of as uniquely southern, began to gain national attention. This resulted, in part, because of the continuing migration of African-Americans from the South to the increasingly urbanized North and West. This migration was steady through the 1920s and even during the Great Depression did not slow dramatically. But the decade of the 1940's saw the largest black migration from the South, as wartime production in industrial areas demanded labor. This would be the first time white and black workers would be working side by side. During this decade, nearly 1 million black Americans made the move from South to North. By 1950, for the first time, a third of all black Americans lived outside the South.
The rise of black ghettos in northern and western cities may have complicated the