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A New Deal for Blacks by Harvard Sitkoff - Essay Example

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Running head: A NEW DEAL FOR BLACKS BY HARVARD SITKOFF   A New Deal for Blacks by Harvard Sitkoff Harvard Sitkoff’s book A New Deal for Blacks made a very strong impact in terms of addressing the African American struggle that was a series of events during the 1930s and 1940s…
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A New Deal for Blacks by Harvard Sitkoff
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Download file to see previous pages However, Sitkoff notes that the New Deal did not entirely succeed in abolishing the killing of Blacks and did not improve upon their legal, social and economic standing. But the author holds that the New Deal played a major role in providing Blacks with immense influence in the federal government for addressing their apprehensions. It also included civil rights into the agenda of the Democratic Party. Moreover, the New Deal provided considerable hope to them as the federal government started paying attention to their cause, which was being entirely ignored for several decades (Sitkoff, 1978). Sitkoff is of the belief that although Blacks did not prosper much in America, they suffered the maximum during the Depression and were literally starving during the period prior to the New Deal. The whites had been holding marches to protest against allowing employment for Blacks until all whites were provided with jobs. Very few Blacks held public offices and they rarely had the opportunity to get college education. Sitkoff writes that the political advisors of President Roosevelt were always vetting his decisions so that no white from the South felt insulted. Although the outcomes could not be verified immediately, the initiatives taken by Roosevelt amounted to fighting against traditional practices and thoughts regarding racial inequality, which provided hope to African Americans that the federal government had started showing signs of caring for them. Sitkoff asserts that another factor leading to the fight against racial discrimination was the change in racial attitudes during the 1930s. The issue of race in politics was diluted whereby black votes began to be viewed as a means to maintain balance of power that gave political parties incentives if they won their support. Nazism had considerably reduced the historical influence of racism and the Communist Party played an important role in creating racial parity. A number of research activities were undertaken during the period to show that dark skin did not imply inferiority. Such moral judgments fought against the historical philosophies that Blacks descended from Canaan, which had till then implied that they were obliged to serve. There was a shift in popular culture, which justified the change from historical to moral judgments. Popular plays and movies were produced during this time, such as Mulatto, Never No More, Kneel to the Rising Sun and Green Pastures, which combined with other examples to reveal that thoughts relative to race were now changing. Sitkoff has discussed a number of events occurring during this period that led to change. During President Roosevelt’s time, there was a historical transformation as the Supreme Court dealt with a large number of cases pertaining to racial equality and issues regarding unconstitutional rulings, jury selections and voting rights. Americans realized the duplicity of the Jim Crow laws that espoused racial equality but did not implement the laws. Segregation and lynching became important issues for politicians and inter-racial organizations such as the Urban League and NAACP that became very active during the 1930s. These developments created hope for African Americans in terms of civil rights, which is why the author argues that the large number of happenings during this time resulted in recreation of moral judgments towards Blacks. In his book, Sitkoff has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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