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Miss Bailey Says…#4

What about relief investigators who, when visiting families:

Smoke if they feel like it
Holler upstairs
Pump the children and the neighbors
Look under the bed for extra shoes and into the cupboard for food?Continue Reading »

Miss Bailey Says…#3

What shall the untrained relief investigator do when she observes in homes such situations as:

The family on relief that she “catches” filing into the movie theater?
The girl in the family who blossoms out with a new permanent wave?
The family that, at the morning call, was in rags and despair, and is all dressed up and going to a party when she returns at night with a food order?
The family that supports a man‑sized dog?Continue Reading »

Miss Bailey Says…#2

What shall the untrained investigator do when she observes in homes such situations as:

Bootlegging?
Deserted wife with children on relief, living in sin with a lodger?
Father periodically drunk and (a) cheerful, (b) abusive to children?
Father demanding shotgun marriage for reluctant daughter?Continue Reading »

Miss Bailey Says…#1

There is perhaps no point in the whole business of relief about which the public is so sensitive as in the matter of car-ownership. The question comes up even in the most car-conscious communities. Stories of abuses multiply at dinner and bridge tables and sooner or later magnify into newspaper headlines. More than once they have occasioned formal investigations of relief agencies and sweeping “reforms.”Continue Reading »

The Negro and Relief: Part II

About the only source to which the Negro can look for real aid today is the United States government. Experience has shown that local authorities cannot be trusted to administer equably government funds in many sections of the country so far as Negroes are concerned. I am satisfied that the national administration is eminently fair and wants to reach out and see the benefits of its recovery program extended to every citizen, but this ideal is neutralized in many local communities. On the other hand, one does not need to argue for complete centralized control by the federal government, but rather for a degree of protection for a group which experience has proved suffers at the hands of local administrators.Continue Reading »

The Negro and Relief – Part I

This practice of the displacement of Negro labor by white labor began even before the depression. The Negro felt its effect as early as 1927. From the very beginning it has been stimulated by outside forces. For instance, an organization called the Blue Shirts was set up in Jacksonville, Florida, about 1926 for the express purpose of replacing Negroes in employment with white men. An organization called the Black Shirts was formed at Atlanta, Georgia, late in 1927 for the same purpose. The Black Shirts, whose regalia consisted chiefly of black shirts and black neckties, published a daily newspaper. They frequently held night parades in which were carried such signs as “Employ white man and let ‘Niggers’ go”; “Thousands of white families are starving to death-what is the reason?”; and “Send ‘Niggers’ back to the farms.”Continue Reading »

Effect of Economic Conditions Upon the Living Standards of Negroes (1928)

Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director, Atlanta School of Social Work, given at the 55th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1928. “The problems which I will discuss are health, education, delinquency, crime and family disorganization. They follow logically those discussed by Mr. Thomas. In addition, I will attempt to summarize his paper and my own and present our combined recommendations.”Continue Reading »

Social Security: The Roosevelt Administration

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s philosophy was: that Government has a positive responsibility for the general welfare. Not that Government itself must do everything, but that everything practicable must be done. A critical question for F.D.R. was whether a middle way was possible– a mixed system which might give the State more power than conservatives would like, enough power indeed to assure economic and social security, but still not so much as to create dictatorship.Continue Reading »

A Synopsis of the Great Depression

Later generations of Americans have no first hand experience of the depths of despair into which the depression, beginning in 1929, had thrust the nation, and the excitement and eagerness with which people greeted the New Deal. You know many critics not only have denied that anything constructive could have come from the New Deal but they have even succeeded in creating the impression in the prosperous years since 1945 that the depression really did not amount to much.Continue Reading »

Bonus March

Following WWI, a pension was promised all returning service men to be administered in 1945. As the Great Depression took shape, many WWI veterans found themselves out of work, and an estimated 17,000 traveled to Washington, D.C. in May 1932 to put pressure on Congress to pay their cash bonus immediately. The former soldiers created camps in the Nation’s capital when they did not receive their bonuses which led to their forcible removal by the Army and the bulldozing of their settlements.Continue Reading »

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