The causes of the great depression started with the Wall Street; unchecked by the United States government, Wall Street, through mismanagement, caused the public to panic and start withdrawing they money from banks. The housing market collapsed as well, which also lead to the total collapse of the banking industry. Unfortunately, few African American banks collapsed during this period of time. Some survived as well, but the banks that held notes in the forms of mortgages failed. Several loans had been made to churches and African Americans living the American dream. African Americans could not pay their mortgages as they began to be laid off from their jobs; in turn they were not able to donate to their local churches during services. The church and the member could not in turn keep up with their mortgages, which in turn lead to the collapse of African American banks.
As the first New Deal had no effect on the U.S. economy, it would not have made much of a difference in the African American community in the first place, as intuitions in the south for instance, made sure they were charged with the dispersal of the funds to farmers in the form of subsidies. There were instances that African American farmers didn’t’ receive their fair share of subsidies if they received them at all. The United States government had little or no control over making sure that such inequality, especially in the south, did not take place as the southern democrats still had their network still in place. There were numerous cases of officials pocketing the monies that were supposed to be given in the form of aid to families white and African American; when the aid was giving African Americans were often overlooked.
The Great Depression had a profound effect on the African American community more so that on the white communities of America. As the jobs in north dried up, African Americans were the first to be laid off, and if there were jobs available, the employers would hire a white individual before an African American. The unions (AFL), strengthened by the National Labor Relations Act, did not African Americans members, as they did not allow them to join their union. And the unions that did have African Americans (CIO), did not push for the hiring of its African American members, because they were interested in the hiring of it’s white members first.
The second New Deal finally did disburse monies and aid to African Americans staving off the absolute poverty of an entire race of people. Through determination, the NAACP, not to mentions social advocates were able to make some gains for African Americans during this turbulent period of time. Equality was by no means within sight, but through sheer determination and combining there resources did African Americans survive this period of time. The U.S. government forced to insure that in the disbursement of funds and aid, that it followed its own regulations (laws) of equality.
Within their communities, African Americans, shared resources in order to survive. The barter system, or in the days of villages, African Americans supported each other by sharing living space, food, and services in order to whether the Great Depression. After enduring years of slavery and inequality, the depression offered another obstacle in which a downtrodden people had to endure without the support of their fellow Americans and a government, even though they had laws of equality that either was helpless to help or simply would not.
Just as religion helped African Americans spiritually deal with their difficult times during slavery, religion helped them cope with the difficulties they still faced as a people in white America. The rise of the Peace Movement Mission (PMM) and The Nation of Islam provided African Americans an outlet to maintain the stability needed for the difficult times that lay ahead. The astigmatisms of African Americans as lazy and immoral were combated by the teaching of both of these institutions; as well as other churches with no particular affiliation. For southerner African Americans, who migrated north, the church, provide the foundation in which they were able to better adjust to the culture of the north, which greatly contrasted that of the south. The two institutions in particular taught sexual abstinence and sobriety. They did differ in their attitudes towards white people.
White people did attend the PMM services and were taken care of by Minister Devine. He often would throw feast for all those attended. He kept with the teachings of the Christian faith, he also believed in mental and physical healing. Often people would travel hundreds of miles to attend his services as his brand of religion became well know. The Nation of Islam in contrast believed that African Americans were the original humans and that white people were outcast, leading to their exile to Europe. With the coming millennium, the “devil” will be dealt with. Islam also preached African history and culture to these members, and preached that their members should avoid southern food as it contained a number of pork dishes.
The support both institutions provided strengthened the home of African Americans as well as their spirituality within their respective communities. They both had many similarities as well as differences. They both contained a mixture of various religions, but they both also implemented ideals that contrasted each other. The important factor to gain from existence of both these institutions is the foundation of support they gave to the African American community as a whole, along with other religious institutions.