Eleanor Roosevelt

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., African American Pages: 2 (527 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Discuss in detail how one of the First Ladies (since 1933) has made an impact on a social issue in the United States First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt experienced tremendous pain throughout her childhood and believed she would find happiness in helping others. Her sense of social responsibility started in early adulthood advocating for the disadvantaged. After entering the White House in March, 1933 her eyes opened to the depth of racial discrimination and the suffering of African Americans. She made it known that the United States government had a moral duty to ensure racial equality. Her critics viewed her standpoint as radical. Mrs. Roosevelt did not waiver in her fight against discrimination despite the political constraints, failures and public outrage. This was evident in “Arthurdale”, a small community in West Virginia created to help destitute citizens become economically self-sufficient during the Great Depression. She pushed the Homestead Administration to admit African Americans but they refused. She fought and succeeded in getting other low cost housing for African American families. Mrs. Roosevelt urged President Roosevelt as well as the entire nation to confront the discrimination that faced African Americans. She viewed racial discrimination as undemocratic and immoral. She showed her opposition publicly against the heinous crime of lynching perpetrated on African Americans by Caucasian supremacist. When the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill was introduced in 1934, civil rights leader, Walter White needed Mrs. Roosevelt’s assistance to secure the president’s support. Her support infuriated the President’s administration and southerners. This led many including FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to conclude she had African American blood in her veins. Despite her best effort the bill failed. The President did not support it for various political reasons. Later in 1939, Present Roosevelt created the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department...
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