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Political and Cultural Seeds of The Civil Rights Movement Officially beginning in 1929 The Great Depression hit Americans hard crossing all ethnic racial and social barriers Northern and southern businessmen urban and rural working classes men and women alike faced difficult economic battles during this time As the nation struggled to recover African Americans relied on their self taught cooperation that had helped them endure the recovery from slavery to make many political and cultural strides throughout the 1930s and 1940s The surge in overall African American pride was the perfect precursor to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s In the south black farmers suffered the most from the Depression As the demand for cash crops such as sugar and cotton fell suppliers increased the amount produced in order to compensate This resulted in an excess supply and a corresponding plummet in value Black sharecroppers all across the south were on the verge of starvation Many farmers joined the migration to cities of the north in search of jobs This created overcrowding and increased competition for jobs In the years of The Depression whites were forced into what were once considered Negro jobs Unemployment among black men in cities such as Chicago rose to as high as forty percent in 1934 Black women also suffered greatly as employers drastically lowered their wages Even the few upper class black businessmen were filing for bankruptcy As economic disparity transcended class and gender of African Americans President Hoover failed to provide any significant assistance to the impoverished and blacks were forced to rely on each other for help In essence the downfall of the economy led to black assimilation that eventually led to the political and cultural achievements of the 1930s and 1940s In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt was elected President To remedy the Depression Roosevelt supported the unemployed through governmental relief The Agricultural Adjustment Act AAA gave subsidies to farmers who capped their production
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