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By Christopher Robert Reed

Within the Nineteen Twenties, the South part used to be regarded on because the new Black city, yet by means of the flip of the last decade that imaginative and prescient was once already in decline—a sufferer of the melancholy. during this well timed ebook, Christopher Robert Reed explores early Depression-era politics on Chicago's South aspect. the commercial main issue triggered diversified responses from teams within the black group, unusual by way of their political ideologies and acknowledged targets. a few favourite govt intervention, others reform of social prone. a few chanced on expression in mass highway demonstrations, militant advocacy of increased civil rights, or progressive demands a whole overhaul of the capitalist financial system. Reed examines the complicated interactions between those a variety of teams as they performed out in the group because it sought to discover universal flooring to deal with the commercial stresses that threatened to rip the Black city aside.

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Extra resources for The Depression Comes to the South Side: Protest and Politics in the Black Metropolis, 1930-1933

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Chavers’s daughter, Madrue, recalled losses in status, one case in particular that involved a dentist who lost ownership of his home. This professional man was forced to take a back room of what was now his former home, and with a former neighbor as his landlord, an individual he had never seen fit to socialize with previously. 33 Postal workers now could compete in the areas of recreation and in meeting the elastic class standards of the day. Pullman work was steady and residual food amounts from the trains somehow found their way onto many a family’s dinner table.

Departing from its traditional social service functions, the League was now transformed into a relief-dispensing agency. All money now raised was used solely for relief. To reassure donors of the proper use of the funds, executive secretary A. L. Foster described the situation to the black community: . . we want it distinctly understood that contributions to this special fund will not be used for any purpose other than relief. It will not be applied to our regular budget for the payment of salaries or for any other purpose.

22 For youthful, transplanted Mississippian Richard Wright, his postal employment provided frequent bouts of earning enough to feed and shelter his mother, brother, and himself. He worked first as a regular clerk at an hourly rate of 70 cents an hour, with the need to reach the minimum weight of 125 pounds by a specified examination time as his major worry. He and his family ate heartily, and he even had time to practice his writing skills. When his physical exam date arrived, he expected the worst and it occurred—he had failed the examination by virtue of being underweight.

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