African-American. Muslims, and Mexican-American Experience Questions
Between 1910 and 1970 six million African-Americans moved from the rural communities of the South to the urban areas of the North. This exodus turned the majority of them from farmers, subordinated to whites, to industrial workers, with an awakened black consciousness and the will to fight for their rights (Takaki 320).
Many factors contributed to the Great Migration. Firstly, African-Americans faced economic hardships. After emancipation, most of them became sharecroppers, dependent on landlords and indebted (Takaki 312). Secondly, they were segregated, according to the Jim Crow laws, constantly terrorized by KKK and often subjected to lynching (“Great Migration”). Lastly, most of the immigrants were born and raised out of slavery and were reluctant to accept the subservient roles imposed on the older generation (Takaki 315).
The North provided African-Americans with important opportunities. To begin with, there was a large number of available jobs, especially in the industry, because after World War I European immigration decreased and a need for labor force appeared. (Takaki 313). Moreover, with the increase in industry more jobs became available (“Great Migration”). Furthermore, blacks had the opportunity to establish their own communities, businesses, and organizations, to develop a black consciousness and to create their own art and literature. Needless to say, African-Americans faced challenges, as well. Firstly, they were employed in low-wage jobs and lived in crowded housing, and secondly, they still experienced racism and segregation in the workplace, schools and housing (Takaki 318). Moreover, white gangs threatened and attacked them (Takaki 322).
In order to defend themselves, African-Americans promoted black solidarity and were encouraged to form their own communities and enterprises (Takaki 323). Even though they lived in crowded housing and received low wages, they felt empowered. Their dream of living with dignity and not on the sidelines of society was voiced by Marcus Garvey (Takaki 325). Garvey taught blacks about their history and culture. He envisioned the creation of a black nation in Africa, where they would be able to reconnect with their roots. Black intellectuals, inspired by Garvey, created a literature that revolted against white America (Takaki 328). All this contributed to the shape and rise of black national consciousness and pride.
Before the Great Depression, Mexican-Americans were legally defined as white due to their European ancestry and they were allowed to become naturalized citizens and own land. (“Mexican American Experience”). However, by social norms they were not considered whites and were subjected to discriminations in the workplace, schools and public places. Anglos considered the large numbers of Mexicans, who were entering the US, and their high birthrate, a threat. Moreover, they saw them as a miscegenationist threat to white racial purity and a danger to America’s cultural identity, and they asked that limitations were imposed on Mexican immigration (Takaki 305).
During the Great Depression nativism peaked (“Mexican American Experience”). Anglos viewed Mexican-Americans as a competitive labor force and blamed them for white unemployment. As a result, many were repatriated (Takaki 306). In the 1930 census Mexicans …