The Rapp Road Story

National Register information
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 27, 2002
Reference number
Architectural style
American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman
Areas of significance
Social History; Community Planning and Development; Ethnic Heritage – Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A – Event; B – Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1930; 1940
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 19
Contributing objects: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 2


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The History of Albany's Rapp Road Community
 by Jennifer A. Lemak| © 2008 State University of New York Press, Albany

Migration fever hit Shubuta, Mississippi, and its surrounding areas in the beginning of the twentieth century and black families began traveling north to find a better life. In fact, so many blacks began leaving Shubuta that the local paper, The Mississippi Messenger, published the article, “Negroes Should Remain in South,”on 5 September 1919.

The article stated that blacks were not treated poorly and good employment was available. “They [three black surveyors from Chicago] declare they can now recommend that Negroes come south to find work; they assert they found no basis for the northern allegations that Mississippi would bear such
a libelous epithet; they investigated farm labor conditions near a dozen cities and at the Archman convict farms; they discovered that Negroes could walk on the sidewalks of Mississippi cities without being lynched. . . .”

Despite this article and these supposed adequate conditions, African Americans wanted to leave Shubuta because of poor employment opportunities, poor educational facilities, and discrimination. These migrants left home seeking a better life for themselves and their families. A large number of the black migrants who left the Shubuta area moved to Albany, New York, during the 1930s and 1940s when Louis W. Parson moved north in 1927 and began returning by car to drive Mississippi blacks north. News of Albany spread by word of mouth, and blacks also left the
area by train and bus.

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