Depression of 1929
The great depression is an event in history we all learn about to some degree. Not only that it was one of the most devastating events to ever hit the economy. Its effects could be felt worldwide and it would take a war to bring us out of it. Yet how such an event came to be is still highly disputed, some argue that it was the people's loss of faith in the economy that brought it down, others argue that this was a natural recession that was exacerbated by the federal government's bad choices. Although its exact cause and origin is still a mystery, what isn’t a mystery is the effect it had on the people. Thousands of citizens were now starving, homeless, and desperate for relief. But for some, this was not new. In an interview in the 1990s Maya Angelou would speak out about black farmers and their struggles long before the depression even hit. She would quote, “the Depression had been going on for ten years before black people even knew about it”. The black community had its own struggles long before the stock market crashed. She would go on to talk about sharecropping and how many black farmers had already owed their lives to the company store in an endless cycle of debt. The black community was often undereducated, due to poor funding, only making it easier for these farmers to take advantage of them. She stated on the matter, “…the Depression had gone on long before the crash of ’29 took place”. Once the crash did take place, the changes were minimal compared to the rest of the world. When asked about its effect Maya Angelou said, “One of the ways it affected the black community was that the white hobos would come to the black area to ask for food. Now, partly out of pride, and maybe the other part out of an ability to identify, to empathize with the hobo, black people always gave food”. The depression was a dark time for many people as it shattered their daily lives from comfort into a fight for survival, but for others, it was another chapter in a long struggle for equality.