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date: 14 April 2021

Great Depressionlocked

Massive economic collapse in the United States and throughout much of the world that had particularly serious consequences for African Americans.
  • James Sellman


The Great Depression was a time of economic hardship throughout the United States that fell with particular severity on African Americans. But it also brought important political and social developments that, in the years ahead, transformed African American life. For blacks the Depression started long before the October 1929 stock market crash. During the 1920s southern black farmers suffered the devastating impact of the Boll Weevil on their cotton harvests. They also faced a collapse in farm prices following World War I (1914–1918) as President Woodrow Wilson lifted agricultural price supports and the government canceled wartime orders.

In one of the largest internal migrations in American history, which came to be known as the Great Migration many African Americans abandoned farming and moved to cities in the North as well as in the South However the low wage jobs that they found in urban areas forced them ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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