Monument to Great Migration


Alison Saar's 1994 work, "Monument to the Great Northern Migration," honors the six million-odd African-Americans who traveled from the South to Chicago from 1910 to 1970.

Chicago, Illinois
City of Chicago
Group Acknowledged: 
Immigrants to the North
Historical Subject: 

This bronze figure is a testament to the thousands of African Americans who migrated to Chicago in the early 20th century in search of greater freedom and opportunity. The traveler’s hand is raised in salutation to his new home. In his other hand he carries a worn suitcase symbolic of his journey, dreams and talents. The bollards surrounding the monument are also suitcases that are textured with a pattern derived from the tin ceilings of the era. The figure is oriented to the north, symbolizing the traveler’s destination.

Physical Aspects: 

The sculpture depicts a man oriented and pointing northward, suitcase in hand, his entire outfit made of the worn soles of his shoes. It's situated at the historic entrance to Bronzeville, a neighborhood that boomed thanks to the Great Migration.

Date of Dedication: 
Place Location: