How the Great Depression Affected African Americans

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In the 1920s, African Americans were looked upon as lower class individuals and as a result, had very low paying jobs. Now, just imagine an economic crisis in such a situation. It will be chaotic. Unfortunately, an economic crisis did hit, and many African Americans lost their jobs, to leave the jobs for the white Americans. This economic crisis, plus the racial inequality African Americans faced caused a great depression amongst African Americans, which affected them till 1960. During this depression, African Americans faced problems involving underemployment, and racial discrimination.

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Nonetheless, African Americans managed to force their way through the depression by creating organizations like the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), migration, and voting for President Roosevelt in order to improve their rights.

First, during this period, African Americans suffered unemployment and racial discrimination, and had to migrate. Before the Great Depression, African Americans worked essentially in untalented occupations. After money markets crash of 1929, those passage level, low-paying occupations either vanished or were filled by whites needing business. As indicated by the Library of Congress, the African-American joblessness rate in 1932 moved to roughly 50 percent. As a student of history Cheryl Lynn Greenberg sends in To Ask for an Equal Chance: African Americans in the Great Depression, African American joblessness rates in the South were twofold or even triple that of the white populace. In Atlanta, almost 70 percent of African American specialists were jobless in 1934. In urban areas over the North, around 25 percent of white specialists were jobless in 1932, while the jobless rates among African Americans topped 50 percent in Chicago and Pittsburgh and 60 percent in Philadelphia and Detroit. Amid the Great Depression, a huge number of African-American tenant farmers who fell into obligation joined the Great Migration from the rustic South to the urban North. As indicated by Greenberg, by 1940, 1.75 million African Americans had moved from the South to urban areas in the North and West.

Nevertheless, to solve this problem, African Americans had to create parties like the NCNW, to advocate for African Americans. From the Great Depression’s soonest days, African Americans decided to challenge for worthier monetary, social and political rights. In 1929, Chicago Whip editorial manager Joseph carried out boycotts of city retail chains that declined to sell to African Americans. It was called the grassroots. The grassroots’ protest, against racially discriminating African Americans worked, bringing about the work of 2,000 African Americans. The “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” spread afterwards to different urban communities over the North. The time of the 1930s saw the development of African American activism that forecasted the Civil Rights Movement.

Another solution was to vote for President Roosevelt, who was going to improve the African American lifestyle. For a considerable length of time before the Great Depression, African Americans had customarily voted in favor of the Republican Party, which was still observed as the gathering of liberation from the times of Abraham Lincoln. The presidential decision of 1932, notwithstanding, saw an ocean change as African Americans exchanged their political loyalty to the Democratic Party. But Since Roosevelt required the help of Southern Democrats to pass his New Deal motivation, he didn’t advocate for banning lynching, or stopped the hostility, which kept numerous African Americans from casting a ballot. However, the monetary help gotten by African Americans under the New Deal set their freshly discovered dedication to the Democratic Party. By 1936, about 70 percent of African Americans voted in favor of Roosevelt. Even though Roosevelt helped African Americans, it still was not enough to stop racial discrimination. Racial discrimination continued onward with the Scottsboro boys and many other African Americans.

In conclusion, African Americans barely managed to get through the great depression and joblessness, by creating organizations, and voting for Roosevelt. Voting for Roosevelt was just a temporary solution, as this did not solve all the racial discrimination and lynching. The civil right movement and black power movements were clearly needed to promote racial equality.

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How the Great Depression Affected African Americans. (2019, Jun 17). Retrieved from