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African Americans in the Great Depression

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The Great Depression. The worst financial crisis to ever hit America. Unemployment rates of over 25%. A 50% decrease in national income. Billions of dollars lost in a single day. (Trotter, pg.8) The Depression affected everyone in America. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white, none were spared. However, for America’s 12 million African Americans (Encyclopedia of Race and Racism) the Depression didn’t just start in 1929.(Africa to America: From the Middle Passage Through the 1930s) African Americans were a subjugated minority. Racism wasn’t only present in America, it was accepted by many. In the South, Democrats fought to keep African Americans under harsh segregation and oppressive laws. (Trotter, pg. 9) Efforts to relieve African Americans from their dire situation were repulsed and shut down as often as possible. (Trotter, pg. 9) Despite all this, African Americans fought back against their oppression and tried to organize themselves to promote their interests. (Africa to America: From the Middle Passage Through the 1930s, pg. 36) In time, their situation improved and they managed to slowly recover from the damage caused by the Depression. In the book Of Mice and Men the character Crooks is a black man living during the Great Depression. He faces prejudice and is not well liked by the other men. His experience is just one of the twelve million African Americans who lived and struggled during the Great Depression. The Great Depression had severe political ramifications for African Americans. The Depression occurred during the presidency of Herbert Hoover, a former mining executive and Secretary of Commerce.( Encyclopedia of the American Presidency) His Republican administration received strong backing from African Ame... ... middle of paper ... ...w York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 8-17. Gale Power Search. Web. 19 May 2014. "New Deal and Old Racism." Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Ed. John Hartwell Moore. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 364-368. Gale Power Search. Web. 19 May 2014. Horne, Gerald. "National Negro Congress." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 1614-1615. Gale Power Search. Web. 22 May 2014. "Hoover, Herbert Clark (1874–1964)." Encyclopedia of the American Presidency. Michael A. Genovese. New York: Facts on File, 2010. 240-241. Facts on File Library of American History. Gale Power Search. Web. 22 May 2014. Severance, Ben H. "Reconstruction." Americans at War. Ed. John P. Resch. Vol. 2: 1816-1900. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 141-144. Gale Power Search. Web. 22 May 2014.
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