African Americans During The Great Depression

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Oct. 29, 1929 was the day that most say that the Great Depression began. Up till then America had been enjoying a high climbing bull market but by Sept. 1929 it began to fall and by Oct. 29th the stock market officially crashed. Life for America and soon the world would be drastically changed. In the following years after the bulls demise people began to run for the banks to withdraw all their money fearing it would soon be lost. So many flooded the banks that soon they ran out of money and couldn’t pay everyone. Some bankers in a panic began to throw themselves out of windows. By Mar. 4, 1933 the American banking system had officially collapsed . With money being so tight employers were soon forced to make job and pay cuts, African Americans…show more content…
Some people would walk around with signs advertising their employment needs and some even paid for jobs. One man paid $10.00 to make $13.50. It was even tougher in the south. Although farmers didn’t have to worry about being fired they did have Mother Nature to contend with. During the Great Depression the plains suffered years of severe drought and by 1934 about 80% of the U.S. was suffering. Most of the ground had turned to dust and the winds turned that dust into dust storms. The 30’s saw record dust storms for years. The Dust Bowl effected Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico among other states, 500,000 people were made homeless and some died from suffocation. The dust storm left farms and homes in ruins covered in piles of dust. Most folks left and became what many called Migrators or Okie’s, since many came from Oklahoma. Many people headed for California and often by foot. One family traveled about 900 miles from Arkansas to the cotton fields of the Rio Grande. Upon arrival people usually had no place to live. Many created new homes for themselves which most of the time was nothing more than a cardboard shack located in Hoovervilles, named for the President himself since many blamed him for most of their troubles. Once relocated to a new state the prosperity many hoped for was usually not found and many were left to go from crop to crop picking for pennies. Having almost no money at all forced some to eat wild greens straight from the field like cows. It was tough being a farmer during the Great Depression but things weren’t all peaches and cream for those still in the work force either. Many men were abused in places like mines, factories, and even G.M.. These workers, because of their employers, were not allowed to join unions which help ensure safe working conditions and proper pay. Many however tried to strike but were often beaten and even killed and some were forced to work at gun point
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