The Black Protest & the Great Migration Essay

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Alex Shewmon History 112 George Appo Upon examining the life of George Appo, it’s easy to see what led him to the life of a “Good Fellow”. His upbringing was rough, his parents were subpar, and he never spent a day in school. George Appo was born on the 4th of July in 1856 to Catherine Fitzpatrick and Chang Qimbo Appo. They had George Appo in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country, known as New Yorks Five Points neighborhood. Just three years after being born, Appo’s father essentially abandoned him. Qimbo Appo was convicted of manslaughter in 1859. He was sent to prison, where he would remain until his death in 1912. Shortly after his father’s sentencing, Appo’s mother decided to take a ship with George Appo to San Francisco to visit her brother. Unfortunately, however, the ship was caught in a bad storm and Appo’s mother was a victim of the ship wreck. Appo survived, but now was an orphan and wasn’t even five years old. In his autobiography Appo wrote, “I cannot explain how I was saved, only that a sailor brought me to New York and left me with a very poor family named Allen”. Appo would bounce from family to family in the Five Points neighborhood however. Changes in the urban economy were mostly to blame for the rise of pickpocketing during this era. At about the age of 10 Appo became part of a group of scavengers, which the people at that time called “street urchins”. While Appo was making an honest living at low paying jobs, like shinning shoes, sweeping sidewalks, and selling newspapers, Appo also perfected his true love, the art of picking pockets. At the age of 17, Appo obtained his first conviction and was convicted of pick pocketing. He bragged that on successful nights he could earn $500 or more. That is equivalent to about $10,000 in today’s money. His successes pick pocketing came with a price however. Being a
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