Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

October 15, 1930

Guest post by Amanda D’Addona, undergraduate student at Manhattan College. 

On October 15, 1930, the New York Amsterdam News published an article explaining how African-American employment opportunities were affected during the Depression. The article states, “Throughout the South white workers are seeking and filling the jobs formerly held exclusively by colored people because of the general hard times brought about by the current business depression.” The article explains how white southern workers were taking over the jobs that were previously held by African Americans. As a result of white southern workers taking these job positions and the difficult times of the Depression, African-Americans workers began to lose job opportunities in the skilled trades, semiskilled occupations, and personal service occupations.

This article shows when African Americans were considered second-class citizens. Jobs that were held by African Americans were not seen to be as prestigious as jobs that could have been held by a white southern American. During the difficult times of the Depression, whites were more than willing to take these jobs. In a way, the Depression hurt African Americans in regards to trying to achieve equality. It became difficult for African Americans in the Depression to obtain jobs, and they therefore had no work to support their families. This article further proves that African Americans were considered second-class citizens because when bad times hit, African Americans were losing their jobs to white males who were looked at as first-class citizens.   

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