Essay, 2 pages (250 words)

African-americans new deal

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In the 1930’s, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the New Deal which had three goals; relief, recovery and reform. The New Deal offered many programs to help Americans cope with the desperate times of the Great Depression.  The aid being distributed under New Deal programs was not being distributed evenly among the races.

Southerners in the Congress made attempts to block aid to Southern rural workers under the Social Security Act(SSA). Under the 14th Amendment African-Americans were given equal protection under the law, so lawmakers had to find legal ways to exclude African-Americans. Domestic work and agricultural jobs that accounted for 60% of the jobs that African-Americans held was excluded from receiving benefits under SSA.

African-Americans who did other types of work were often excluded from receiving benefits because they did not earn enough money to qualify for benefits. The Southern Congressmen realized that $15 a month in SSA benefits would far exceed the pay of a sharecropper or domestic servant, so it was their goal to maintain the social order in the South by denying many African-Americans aid.

Unemployment and minimum wage policies also favored whites because domestic work was not covered by these policies.  Another problem with some of the New Deal programs was that states were put in charge of setting eligibility rules and benefit levels.

In light of this, African-Americans did not receive benefits that would help with basic subsistence.  The South wanted to make sure that they would not lose their cheap labor force by offering them benefits that could possibility draw them away from their jobs as sharecroppers or domestics.

While the New Deal did aid some African-Americans, the New Deal shamelessly overlooked the desperate need of the African-Americans due to their race.

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