In the late 20th century, de facto slavery was still practiced in the southern states, which led to the Great Migration; the movement of large numbers of African Americans from the south to urban areas in the North especially Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York and specifically Harlem. Harlem was a popular destination for the blacks in the Great Migration because during World War I, a large number of homes were built in Harlem for returning soldiers, but too many were built driving the price down and making them more alluring to the migrating African Americans. The concentration of African Americans in Harlem resulted in a sense of optimism among the race. The blacks became more educated; worked respectable, middle class jobs; and had time for recreation, art, and music. Langston Hughes was the most notable poet of the time capturing the artistry and optimism of the time that existed in Harlem, the center of black culture in the United States at the time.