Black Boy Historical Context

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The Great Depression

The Great Depression, the period between the stock market crash of October 1929 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, was the worst economic crisis in American history. During that time, millions of Americans lost their jobs and sank into poverty. By 1932, the United States was solidly in the midst of the Great Depression. Industrial output fell to about half that of 1929, resulting in massive layoffs. About 12-15 million Americans were unemployed at the peak of the crisis. Wages had fallen by almost one third. More than 5,000 banks closed their doors.

Urban Living Conditions

The depression hit many cities very hard. City governments, religious groups, and charitable organizations tried to provide direct relief to the needy, and neighbors relied on each other for help. Men and women waited in breadlines for bowls of soup and pieces of bread. Hunger was so widespread that one out...

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This section contains 593 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Black Boy Study Guide
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Black Boy from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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