Impact of the Great Depression and the Current Recession on African Americans

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Syed Natiq Raza Naqvi
Aadia Afraz
SS 100 (writing and communication)
14 March 2011
Impact of the great depression and the current recession on African Americans With millions unemployed, thousands on the verge of suicide and many resorting to crime for sustenance, surely the effects of the recessions were more pronounced on African Americans. The recession (a) of the early 1930’s started in late 1929 (October) and lasted till 1941. It had such huge repercussions on the daily life in general and on the field of Economics in particular that it came to be known as The Great Depression later on. The current recession started in 2007 and matches the great depression in magnanimity. The recessions adversely affected people from all walks of life and ethnic orientations, making the survival of the masses, African Americans in particular, extremely difficult if not impossible. Even though both recessions were similar in terms of high unemployment, the reasons for this high unemployment in Africans Americans and the way government dealt with their hardships in both eras differed substantially. The high unemployment in both the recessions stemmed from different reasons. The main reasons for high unemployment in the African Americans during the great depression were the Mechanization in rural areas and white dominance in urban areas. Much of rural African Americans worked as sharecroppers(b), however as the farm owners started relying increasingly on mechanization to cut cost and increase productivity during the depression a huge number of negroes found themselves unemployed.(“African Americans”). One single automated cotton picker could replace as much as fifty workers (“Lessons: USA Great Depression (1929-1945)”). With declining opportunities in rural areas an increasing no. of Negroes turned to cities for sustenance, which only exacerbated the already bleak scenario. The whites dominated the job market in the...
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