Blues and African American Life

Between 1940 and 1970, almost four million African Americans left the farms and small towns of the South to seek a better life in northern and west coast cities. This population shift came to be called the Great Migration. Along with their dreams of a better future, these newcomers brought with them an incredibly vibrant type of music: the blues. A prime destination for southern migrants was Chicago and one major result was the Chicago Electric Blues.

Learn more in this Google Arts & Culture story.

The Photography of Raeburn Flerlage

Exhibition-GAC-Blues-Buddy Guy Buddy Guy performing at the Modern Chicago Blues Styles show at University of Chicago, June 1, 1966. CHM, ICHi-134176; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer
Exhibition-GAC-Blues-patrons Patrons sitting at a table at an unidentified blues club in Chicago. CHM, ICHi-113097; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer
Exhibition-GAC-Blues-John Littlejohn John Littlejohn and others during performance, photographed for Arhoolie Records, Chicago, November 1968. CHM, ICHi-102320_a; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer
Exhibition-GAC-Blues-Howlin Wolf Howlin' Wolf (guitar), Andrew Blue Blood McMahon (electric bass), and Johnny Jones (piano) during a performance at Silvio's, Lake Street and Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, January 1964. CHM, ICHi-133460; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer
Exhibition-GAC-Blues-Mississippi John Hurt Mississippi John Hurt performing, c. 1965. CHM, ICHi-108887; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer
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