Using Census Reports with Google Earth to Track the Push and Pull Factors of the African-American Exoduster Migration from the South to Kansas following Reconstruction.
Abstract: The presenter will share how Google Earth can be used by high school students to research local history topics. The presentation will specifically focus on the use of census reports to learn about African-American migration to a community in Kansas in 1879-1880. The presenter used census reports with high school students in Larned, KS to enable them to learn a great deal of demographic information about the history of their rural community on the Great Plains. Following Reconstruction, many African-Americans left the South for Kansas for a variety of reasons. The African-Americans who settled Kansas during the post-Reconstruction years were frequently known as Exodusters. The presenter will share how students can use primary sources, such as the census report, in combination with secondary sources to learn about the push and pull factors of the Exoduster migration to Kansas. In addition, how students today can use Google Earth to track the push and pull factors of the migration from the South to Kansas in 1879-1880. The same activity can be replicated in classrooms across the country to investigate local history and migration trends such as the Great Migration. Furthermore, students can share their historical findings interactively with the Google Earth site beyond the walls of the classroom to inform others about the Kansas Exodusters or Great Migration.
Presider: Kareen Salazar, Iowa State University