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Famous Black Americans of the 1930's
Transcript of Famous Black Americans of the 1930's
African Americans Roles During the 1930's
During the 1930s, the downfall of the economy led to the Great Depression. This downfall greatly worsened the already inferior lives of African Americans at the time. The economic hardships of the depression hit black workers especially hard. Their wages were over 30% below those of whites and more than 50% of them remained unemployed. However major political developments were put in place during this time including the founding of the National Negro Congress in 1936 and the Southern Negro Youth Congress in 1937.
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune was an extraordinary educator, civil rights leader, and government official. She opened a training school for Negro girls in Daytona Beach, Florida that at its opening was complete with only five students enrolled. Over time the school evolved to include a farm, high school and nursing school. In 1929 after merging with Cookman institute the school became Bethune-Cookman College which was co-educational. She organized in 1935 the National Council of Negro Women that represented the concerns of black women. Mrs. Bethune was also, in addition to all her other talents, a political activist being the first African American Woman to be involved in the White House, assisting four presidents. In 1974, Mrs. Bethune became the first Black leader and the first woman to have a monument, the Bethune Memorial Statue, which stands on public park land in Washington DC in honor of her remarkable contributions.
Jackie Robinson grew up with his mother and four siblings as the only black family on his street. During his youth he excelled at sports and became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track while he attended UCLA. In 1945 Jackie played one season with the Kansas City Monarchs for the Negro Baseball League, and in 1947 was asked to join the Brooklyn Dogers. By taking the position Jackie broke the sensitive "color barrier" in baseball and challenged racial segregation. Bye the end of his first season with the dogers he was Rookie of the Year, voted the National League's MVP of the year, and won a batting title which eventually allowed him to the pictured in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida as the son of a headwaiter and first black public school teacher in Florida. He attended Atlanta University and after graduating became principal of the school at which his mother taught improving the school by adding the ninth and tenth grades. While principal he studied law and became the first African American to pass the bar exam in Florida. After trying out a musical carreer in collaboration with his brother and becoming frustrated with musical stereotypes of the time he took courses at Columbia University and wrote three anthologies (poem books): The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), The Book of American Negro Spirituals (1925), and The Second Book of Negro Spirituals(1926).
1. "African American life during the Great Depression and the New Deal." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. 20 Oct. 2013 <https://www.britannica.com/blackhistory/article-285193>.
2. "Biography." Jackie Robinson. 2011. 20 Oct. 2013 <http://www.jackierobinson.com/about/bio.html>.
3. National Council of Negro Women, Inc. "Civil Rights Leader | NCNW | Mary McLeod Bethune." Civil Rights Leader | NCNW | Mary McLeod Bethune. 20 Oct. 2013 <http://www.ncnw.org/about/bethune.htm>.
4. Sustar, Lee. "Blacks and the Great Depression." Daily news and opinion from the left. 18 Oct. 2013. 20 Oct. 2013 <http://socialistworker.org/2012/06/28/blacks-and-the-great-depression>.
5. © University of South Carolina Board of Trustees. "James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938." University of South Carolina Libraries. 20 Oct. 2013 <http://library.sc.edu/spcoll/amlit/johnson/johnson1.html>.