Race and slavery


The Great Depression was highly devastating for many Americans. However, the African Americans were the most affected by the depression. In general, Blackmon (2012) agrees that there was a widespread unemployment, which affected millions of people. For the African Americans, the unemployment reached levels beyond 50%. King and Smith (2005) explain that due to racism, the few African Americans that could secure employment were out rightly excluded from some of the well-paying and stable professions. On many occasions, these jobs were reserved for the whites, with African Americans doing menial jobs which had meager wages. At the same time, Blackmon (2012) says that before the start of the Great Depression, there was a crisis in agriculture, which had a profound negative effect on the Africans. The African Americans lived as sharecroppers and tenants compared to the whites who owned land and other essential factors of production (Novkov, Warren, and Lowndes, 2008). According to King and Smith (2005) there was a high level of segregation and racial violence, which concentrated in the South. While some white Americans were struggling for survival, the struggle for the black American continued to intensify.

The New Deal Program was initiated with the intention of assisting the African Amwericans, most of whom had been affected by the Great Depression. According to Fink (2003), the contributions that President Franklin Roosevelt had to the African Americans have remained highly ambiguous. At first, his intentions were highly welcome by some of the people who believed that there was a need for new laws and regulations that could give African Americans an opportunity to enjoy life in America (Reed, 2008). However, according to Kuznicki (2009), some of the flagship programs in the New Deal had little to offer the African Americans, who felt shortchanged by the initiative. For this reason inasmuch as the deal was initiated with all the good intentions, it did little to help the African Americans.

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  1. Blackmon D (2012), Slavery by another Name: The re-enslavement of black Americans from the civil war to World War Two. London: Icon Books.
  2. Fink, G. (2003). Race, class, and community in southern labor history. Alabama: Univ Of Alabama Press.
  3. King, D. S., & Smith, R. M. (2005). Racial orders in American political development. The American Political Science Review, 99(1), 75-92. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/214412633?accountid=45049
  4. Kuznicki, J. (2009). Never a neutral state: American race relations and government power. Cato Journal, 29(3), 417-453. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/195577684?accountid=45049
  5. Novkov, J., Warren, D., & Lowndes, J. (2008). Race and American political development. London: Routledge.
  6. Reed A (2008). “Race and the New Deal Coalition,” The Nation. Retrieved from < https://www.thenation.com/article/race-and-new-deal-coalition/>
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