"And then a Yankee will talk your head off about niggers getting ahead."

With the shift in social demographics that occurred in the early decades of the 20th century, northern attitudes towards blacks became fractured along class lines. Northern support for the emancipation of southern slaves contributed to a myth of northern equality that led thousands of African Americans to migrate thither (see note for page 69). Though the upper classes maintained a paternalistic interest in elevating blacks, poorer strands of society found themselves in fierce competition against them in the job market. This provoked such intense racial hostility that riots broke out in several major northern cities from the late mid-1910s to 1920s.