Socio Economic 1950-1990 - African Americans

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It is perhaps because of economic issues that inequality of African-Americans remained so high in the USA by 1990. African-Americans had always been worse off the white people in America, the effects of the Great Depression clearly show this along with the continued inequality. In 1960, for example, half of the housing in Harlem pre-dated 1900 and a dozen people might share one small apartment. Whilst politically major strides had been made, economic issues had not be solved; however, there clearly were some attempts

  • 'The Poor People's Campaign' began in 1967 and was led by Martin Luther King who understood that economic problems were now the chief issue in racial discrimination. He did try to decrease this. On example is that in 1966, King went to Chicago to lead a demonstration against slum housing. However, this new focus on federal help not only lost King support by the government but also made King and the civil rights cause vulnerable to attacks from FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who always contested that King was a communist sympathiser
  • President Johnson hoped his Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 would help children to get out of the ghettos. The poorer states like Mississippi benefited greatly from the federal funding and by the end of the 1960’s the percentage of African Americans obtaining a high school diploma rose from 40% to 60%. The act did bring about some success but a combination of ghetto peer pressure and traditions and reluctant officials limited the Act’s effectiveness. There was a strong poverty cycle for poor African Americans which proved incredibly hard to break
  • Johnson also attempted

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