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African Americans and life during the Great Depression.

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African Americans and life during the Great Depression Yasmin Rahman History 109 11/21/02 In 1929, following the stock market crash, the Great Depression began placing millions of people out of work. The basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter were in short supply. Although the Great Depression affected nearly everyone in America, it was the harshest for those already disadvantaged in American economy. While the shock of the Agriculture depression and unemployment affected many poor white farmers, it was even more devastating for vast numbers of African Americans on the southern cotton lands. In cities, African Americans, who held the least secure jobs, found themselves pushed from little service tasks and unskilled work by desperate white workers. Apart from being replaced by white workers, African Americans were living in shacks and abandoned buildings or "Hoovervilles" which were basically groups of homeless in a city of shacks and all in one place.1 Children were at segregated schools and mothers were trying to work as maids in order to feed their children. By the end of 1930's thousands of schools worked minimum hours or had closed down. ...read more.


This led to riots and mobs demanding food for their families especially African Americans who were farmers in the south. African American farmers on the Great Plains often had used soil destroying cultivation methods. Such methods combined with droughts produced heavy dust storms called Dust Bowls. These high winds would carry dust and dump it on farms and cities adjacent to Chicago.7 The dust ruined many farms for African Americans and Anglos everywhere. The Relief Programs from the New Deal that lasted two years weren't perfect and especially for colored people. Full control of relief programs by the government wasn't possible because there was still discrimination and bigotry in some programs. Although African Americans weren't excluded they were still being ignored and discriminated by Corporations. As mentioned earlier African Americans did not just sit there, they fought back with protests and Riots and marches. The Trade Union Unity League (TUUL) that started rallying up the people from the textile mills in 1930 did most of the riots. The next year they led a protest with extreme violence in Harlan County, Kentucky earning the county the name of "Bloody Harlan".8 The TUUL was a communist organization that helped African Americans and Anglos rally and march and riot. ...read more.


was founded to purchase surplus hogs, chickens, and livestock. Then it would be shipped to each state and given to relief funds to distribute among the needy. Before its end, the FSR would distribute 9.4 million pounds of fresh apples, 290 million pounds of beef, and 297 million pounds of pork to 60 million people, half of them African Americans. These systems or corporations that had been created worked with as much speed as most of them usually did which was not much. Nor did these programs ever manage to aid the bulk of the needy; as many as five million unemployed people still remained at the mercy of state relief programs, which in some of the poor states gave out less than ten dollars a month to a family. With that said there's something positive to say which is with all their failings the FERA, FDIC, CCC and all the rest changed the shape of life for all Americans in this country permanently. In conclusion American people had suffered the most during the Great Depression and especially those already discriminated against. I will say this white, black, male or female, child or adult, no group of Anglo workers was more thoroughly oppressed than African Americans. ...read more.

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