Minorities in The Great Depression

By Jenna Biondolillo and Marissa MacPeek


The Wagner Act of 1935 and the National Industral Recovery act of 1933 legalized labor unions which created long lasting changes in labor-management relations. Population of labor unions went from less then 3 million to over 10 million by 1941. The American Federation of Labor was dominated by all white male workers but tended to all workers no matter their age, sex or race and whether they were skilled or unskilled. In 1937 at a Gneral Motors plant in Michigan workers thought they were repressed by their bossed to join a union so they established a sit down strike. The company agreed to the strikers demands and organized the United Auot Workers union however the union organize dear were beaten and driven away. The Fair Labor Standards aft established many regulations such as a minnimun wage of 40 cents per hour, maximum 40 hours per week and extra pay for overtime, and restrictions on hiring people under 16.


During the depression women sought out for work to clothe and feed their children. That however was difficult for them since women were being accused of of taking jobs for them even though that didn't make sense because women were not getting hired at jobs that men were laid off from.

Dust Bowl Farmer

A servers drought in the 1930s ruined the Greta plains for farmers. People from the Great Plains that moved to California for better farming conditions were called Okies. The Soil Conservation service was created in 1935 to teach farmers how to properly farm by rotation crops to make sure soil doesn't go bad and used contour plowing and plant trees to stop soli erosion and conserve water.

African Americans

African Americans were still being discrimation against in the 1930s, in the south, lynchings still continued. Their unemployment was much greater then the national average and to make it worse jobless African Americans were excluded from state and local relief programs. The WPA and the CCC were able to provide low paying jobs which were segregated. In 1939 a black singer Marian Anderson was not allowed to sing in the Constitutional Hall in D.C. because the organization the D.A.R. was discrimination against her. Upon hearing about this Elenor Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to give a special concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Mary McLeod Bethune was appointed to middle level positions in federal departments. She established the Federal Council on Nergro affairs to increase their involvement in New Deal programs.

American Indians

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was created in 1933 with the he commissioner John Collier. He established conervatuon and CCC projection reservations. His work gained the American Indians involvement in the WPA and many other New Deal programs. The Indians Reorganization Act replaced the Dawes Act of 1887 and returned lands to the control of tribes and supported Indian reservations.


Mexicans suffered discrimination in the 1930s. The New Deak programs did not help the Mexicans and actually discrimated against them,. Due to the discrimation it forced many thousands of Mexicans to flee America and return to Mexico.