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Furthermore, as a result of these conditions there was a general failure of black business and entrepreneurships. "Black businesses failed, crushing the entrepreneurial spirit that had been an essential element of the Negro Renaissance." (the Great Depression: A History in the Key of Jazz)
However this did not crush the general spirit of the African-American people and there was a resurgence of black culture and enterprise in area such as Harlem. Racism and prejudice were also rife during this period and many jobs and posts occupied by African-American were take away and given to whites. In some Northern cities, "...whites called for blacks to be fired from any jobs as long as there were whites out of work." (Great Depression and World War 11, 1929-1945) in 1930 it is estimated that as much as fifty percent of all African-Americans were unemployed." (the Great Depression)
The situation was also exacerbated by continued racial discrimination in the South. Racial violence was once again to become more prevalent in the South, and "....Lynchings, which had declined to eight in 1932, surged to 28 in 1933" (Great Depression and World War 11, 1929-1945). the' New Deal' that was initiated by President Roosevelt was a set of economic reforms that reduced the impact of the depression and brought relief especially to African-Americans. "The New Deal programs created a liberal political alliance of labor unions, blacks and other minorities, some farmers and others receiving government relief, and intellectuals" (the Great Depression). These alignments and political movements were to continue and with the end of the Second World War there was a resurgence of Black consciousness and the organized expression of the need for civil rights that was to manifest itself in the African-American civil rights movements and the cultural Harlem Renaissance.
5. Martin Luther King and non-violence
Martin Luther King Jr. achieved a profound degree of success with his philosophy of nonviolent resistance. Based on the model and attitude instigated by Mahatma Gandhi in India, this attitude and stance towards racism and political inequality was used to great effect during the civil rights movement. In King's view this philosophy of action through non-aggression was seen as being"... The only solution that could cure society's evil and create a just society" (McElrath J.).
He saw this method as a means to combat the problems of racial segregation in the country. The philosophy of non-violence was based on the concept of satyagraha, which refers to "...truth-force or love-force" (McElrath J.). According to this philosophy, the power of love, moral correctness and rectitude were more powerful than violence and aggression; and furthermore that this stance had the advantage of attempting to win over the opposing side to a different and more morally acceptable point-of-view. King stated that, "...the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom."(McElrath J.).
This view was implemented in the bus boycott actions in Montgomery. From these experiences King realized that, "...nonviolent resistance was a powerful solution, and he committed himself to this method of action" (McElrath J.). This philosophy was also relevant in relation to the Cold War between Russia and America at the time that formed the background to most of international politics. The Cold War held the threat of nuclear war and world annihilation. In relation to these larger issues, King felt that a non-aggressive attitude and way of solving problems was the best approach to deal with both domestic and international problems. This can be seen in one of the central principles in the philosophy of non-violence; which was the point of nonviolent resistance is not to humiliate the opponent, but instead to gain his friendship and understanding. Further, the use of boycotts and methods of non-cooperation, were the "means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent." The result was redemption and reconciliation instead of the bitterness and chaos that came from violent resistance.
This was also a philosophy that was meant to combat the negative views and aggression of the racists and segregationists in the South. Through this stance King wished to show the moral legitimacy and correctness of his views and the right of African-Americans to equality. In other words this view was not about 'defeating' the 'enemy', but rather about winning them over and convincing him of the correctness of your actions.
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Cashmore, E. (2003). Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies. New York: Routledge. Retrieved June 9, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=107717605
Great Depression and World War 11, 1929-1945. Retrieved June 13, 2007, http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/depwwii/race/race.html
McElrath J. Martin Luther King's Philosophy on Nonviolent Resistance. http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/martinlutherking/a/mlks_philosophy.htm
RASTAFARI: ACCORDING to the ENCYCLOPEDIA of AMERICAN
RELIGIONS. Retrieved June 13, 2007, at http://www.inithebabeandsuckling.com/EAR.html
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The Sharecropping System. Retrieved June 13, 2007, at http://blueslyrics.tripod.com/dictionary/sharecropping.htm
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Thus, the New Negro Movement refers to the new way of thinking, and encompasses all the elements of the Negro Renaissance, artistically, socially and politically (New). The Harlem Renaissance changed the dynamics of African-American culture in the United States forever, for it was proof that whites did not have a monopoly on literature, arts and culture (Harlem). The many personalities of the era, such as composer Duke Ellington, dancer Josephine
However, they "were too few in number to provide adequate protection and were not always themselves fully committed to ensuring justice for freed blacks" (Cary Royce 67). The American public wanted reform to happen but few people were actually willing to risk their position in society by supporting black people. As a consequence, former slaves were provided with little support and were practically forced to maintain many of their
This League advocated the peaceful and friendly expansion and recognition of African-American culture and roots in Africa. It also helped pave the way for more militant African-American advocacy groups that found their way into popular African-American culture and society during the Harlem Renaissance. The Universal African Legion also had affiliate companies and corporations, which gave African-Americans more cultural, economic, and political clout and representation during this time period. Garvey
Board of Education of Topeka. This case represented a watershed for Civil Rights and helped to signal an end to segregation because it determined that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" (Warren, 1954). It is essential to note that federal support on this particular issue was only earned after African-Americans decided to use the legislative system to their advantage by taking the segregationist school system of Topeka, Kansas to
Women's History The passing of time does not necessarily denote progress: women made little noticeable social and economic advancement and almost no political or legal advancements between the European settlements of Jamestown in 1607 until the end of the Reconstruction era in 1877. In fact, most Native American women lost a considerable degree of power and status due to the imposition of European social values on their traditional cultures. African women,
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution" by James McPherson There has traditionally been a significant amount of interest in Abraham Lincoln's life and presidency, for the simple fact that his presence as president coincided with some fairly dramatic events in United States history. Many of these events and Lincoln's influence on them are discussed in James McPherson's non-fictional narrative, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. The author makes
(Freeman, 2007). None of the programs was responsible, and freed slaves, especially in rural areas, were left with no property and few prospects following emancipation. Unfortunately, slaves who did not choose to leave their plantations helped establish the precedence of sharecropping, which led to the virtual re-enslavement of a new generation of African-Americans after Reconstruction. Under the practice of sharecropping, a farmer works on someone else's land, and promises to