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The Great Depression and the African American Community - Essay Example

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Many organizational groups such as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the NAACP and the National Urban League tried very hard to put an end to segregation of the Black Americans and the discrimination shown to them, but all the efforts undertaken were slow and laborious…
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The Great Depression and the African American Community
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The Great Depression and the African American Community Order No: 212215 No: of pages: 2 Premium 6530 “If ever there was a modern - day David and Goliath story, this is it. An epic tale of courage and endurance, Oh Freedom completely topples popular romantic conceptions of pastoral America during the Depression and post – war years”.
Robin D. G. Kelly, New York University.
This is how Robin D.G Kelly Professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies at Columbia University, described “The Great Depression” in his book “Oh Freedom”. The book describes how the Depression affected all sections of society and more so the African Americans. Life during the Depression was extremely tough as people lived in abject poverty. Most of the African Americans lived in the rural areas and their living conditions were horrendous as they had lost all they had.
It was the stock market crash that brought about the “Great Depression”. International trade declined sharply and had a great impact on industrialized countries, taxes, prices and profits. In the 20th century, the automobile industry has brought about sweeping changes by way of employment, modern infrastructure and good distribution. That is why the automobile is considered to be a “marvel of modern invention”. The African Americans who lived in the urban areas suffered badly doing manual labor to earn money for their sustenance.
Herbert Hoover was the president of the United States during the period of the Great Depression from 1929 – 1933. He encouraged and promoted economic modernization and hence won the presidential election in 1928 but he lacked skills in dealing with politicians and had a very poor charisma. People who were already suffering from the Great Depression began to lose faith in him and he lost the election in 1932 which was primarily due to this issue. Even the Red Cross refused to come to their aid referring to it as “a man – made disaster.” (Robin D. G. Kelly in “Oh Freedom)
World War II was yet another difficult period for the African – American communities but it was for the first time that African American women were allowed to enroll in the army. These women selflessly strived hard while working in some of the most inhuman conditions. They cooked, cleaned, attended emergencies, did truck driving and administrative work. They worked on par with the men and are proud to have served their country so well.
Many African American Institutions sprang up during this period such as the NAACP and the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, led by Mabel Staupers, (European Theater of Operations, Nurses in England, 1944) vehemently protested racial policies in the Army Nurse Corps and the military in general. These protests met with some success but not completely.
Many organizational groups such as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the NAACP and the National Urban League tried very hard to put an end to segregation of the Black Americans and the discrimination shown to them, but all the efforts undertaken were slow and laborious.
Many of the files documented by the NAACP had the phrase “Soldier Troubles” marked on them to have proof of the efforts taken to prevent maltreatment of African Americans serving in the military.
The baseball color line also termed as the “Gentleman’s Agreement before 1946 was an unwritten policy excluding African American players from playing baseball in the US. Due to this attitude, many Negro Leagues took root and inducted the players who were banned from playing in organized baseball.
On the other hand, baseball was a real boon during the Great Depression as it served to offer a release from trouble that surrounded them. It served as relaxation to the soldiers and in fact was significant in helping America emerge victorious from the Depression by acting as a sort of distraction to the otherwise bad financial position. It also served to distract them away from the stock market crash which was what led to the Great Depression.
African American Odyssey – The Depression, The New Deal and the World War
African Americans in World War II
African Americans in World War II
Robin D. G. Kelly. “Oh Freedom”. New York University.
What was the Importance of baseball to the Economy….. Read More
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