Economic effects on African Americans

Reconstruction and Gilded Age

  • Many AAs as sharecroppers, not much different from slavery
  • Black Codes could return AAs to forced labour
  • Booker T. Washington promoting economic improvement > political rights at Atlanta Speech 1895, set up Tuskegee Institute 1881, economic support from Carnegie ($600,000 in bonds)
  • NAACP 1909 concerned with employment oppotunities
  • Greater economic opportunity in North, boll weevil in South creation work insecurity
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World War to the Depression

  • 500,000 AAs migrated to North in WW1 to satify production boom, women in domestic work
  • AAs joining or forming unions of their own
  • Garvey's promotion of economic improvement through jobs in Black Star Line and promoting manufacturing/ trade among AAs in ***** Factories Corporation 
  • Impossible for AAs to find jobs during Depression, 50% unemployment, 'no jobs for n***ers until every white man has a job'
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New Deal and WW2

  • Robert Weaver Special Advisor on Economic Status of the ***** 1934
  • Poor relief and job creation in FERA and WPA
  • Employment training from National Youth Adminstration, run by Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Argicultural policies not benefitting AAs, 200,000 sharecroppers evicted
  • NRA fair pay/conditions not extended to South
  • Segregation in New Deal projects e.g. CCC and TVA
  • End of the war, 48% AAs lived in South, many had migrated North for economic opportunity
  • Fair Employment Practises Commission 1941
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  • Truman's Fair Deal Programme under funded and left AAs homeless
  • Still had a wage gap of 20 c/ hour
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-6 showed power of the AA community as bus companies lost 65% of their revenue
  • Greensboro sit-ins 1961 showed economic power of AAs as Woolworth's revune decresed by 1/3 
  • Civil Rights Act 1964 outlawed discrimination on basis of race and established Equal Economic Opportunities Commission
  • 1968 black unemployment reduced to 7%
  • Moynihan Report 1965 showed high levels of crime, economic problems and living conditions
  • Poor People's Campaign 1968 - King aimed to tackle economic problems of poorest groups, lack of support from Johnson
  • Memphis Sanitation Worker's Strike 1968 - didn't remain peaceful but Memphis authorities gave into demands after King's death
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Malcolm X and Black Power

  • Malcolm X presented the integrated AAs in the North wasting money on prostitution and gambling as a new form of slavery
  • Only 1 point on the Panther's 10 Point Programme addressed economic needs - all black people in employment
  • Did help impoverished through welfare programmes
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  • 1980s increased gap between incomes of white and black families
  • Third of black people in low skilled jobs and a third below poverty line
  • Bifurication - 40% middle class but 30% in poverty
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