New Deal And African-Americans Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Black Studies Type: Essay Paper: #80341048 Related Topics: African American Studies, African American, Racial Discrimination, African
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Roosevelt administration and the New Deal programs treated African-Americans. To what extent did they receive a better treatment? To what extent did the programs reinforce racial discrimination? Please provide two examples to answer each question.

Roosevelt's New Deal programs were designed to alleviate poverty, not to specifically heal racial discrimination. However, because of the historical legacy of slavery and discrimination in America, African-Americans were often disproportionately affected by the Great Depression and thus could benefit from these social service programs to an equal degree as whites. In the era before extensive legal protections such as the Civil Rights Acts, African-Americans were often the first employees let go by employers seeking to reduce their labor costs during economically trying times like the Great Depression ("FDR and the New Deal, 2014). They also were less likely to be unionized and to receive the protections given by union membership.

FDR passed anti-lynching and anti-forced labor...


FDR was the first president to publically call lynching organized murder ("African-Americans and the New Deal," 2014). But some of the New Deal programs actually served to reinforce segregation .For example, the Fair Housing Administration allowed racial segregation to continue in terms of house sales and empowered whites to buy houses while shutting out African-Americans from more desirable neighborhoods. Still, within his own cabinet, FDR was quite progressive, appointing many African-Americans to serve in positions of power. He was the first president to appoint an African-American federal judge and promote an African-American Brigadier General in the Army ("African-Americans and the New Deal," 2014).

The New Deal's progressive employment policies had a very positive effect upon the lives of many African-Americans in an immediate sense. For example, the Works Progress (Administration (WPA) employed 350,000 African-Americans as 15% of its total workforce "African-Americans and the New Deal," 2014). African-American membership in the Civilian Conservation Corps eventually reached 11%. There was a clause for all Public Works Administration (PWA) contracts establishing a minimum quota for black workers. Culturally, African-Americans were employed by the artistic side of the New Deal in works such as the Federal Theater, Writing Projects, and Federal Music Projects. New Deal education programs increased the number of African-Americans attending primary…

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