Migration was a turning point for the Black community. During the decades from 1915 to 1970, about 6 million Black Americans packed up and left the southern states, to escape the racism and violence of the Jim Crow laws. Now, in 2021, Charles Blow in his book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, is calling on Black Americans and their descendants to return to the south in a bid to gain political power and ultimately overcome white supremacy. A documentary, South to Black Power, follows this reverse migration in action, highlighting the successes and struggles of those who have already made the move.

The idea of Black Americans returning to the South is not to create a separate utopia, but rather to reclaim more say over how they are governed. The proposal is focused on concentration of voting in the south’s key cities with large Black populations. The move back to the south is seen as an opportunity to restore a sense of ancestral belonging often lost when they fled the region decades ago.

Blow debunks the belief that racism is worse in the south. He argues that racism is not regional and that Black people have experienced racial violence across the country. His call for return is also linked to the economic opportunities that the south offers, especially for Black people. The documentary highlights the vibrant culture, historic roots, and economic hopeful opportunities that exist in the southern states.

Ultimately, the proposal is about community success and deliberate decision-making when it comes to opportunities. The return to the south is seen as a chance for Black Americans to reclaim their heritage and have a greater impact on the political landscape of America.

• Decades-long migration
• Proposal to return to the South
• Focus on political power and overcoming white supremacy
• Reclaiming sense of ancestral belonging
• Debunking belief about racism in the South
• Economic opportunities and thriving culture in the South
• Community success and deliberate decision-making in opportunities