black Americans understood FDR’s New Deal
December 18, 2006 Leave a comment
(some of them, anyway)
 That blacks in the 1930s knew that they stood to suffer increases in racism is explained in Bernstein, David E., Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts From Reconstruction to the New Deal (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2001).
Consider also a cartoon that appeared in a black Chicago newspaper, the Chicago Defender, during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term:
In the first panel, a man says to his wife, “Dear, the Old Factory is Now a Member of the ‘NRA’ [National Recovery Administration] which means better wages and better hours!” In the second panel, men crowd a factory before work, reading a sign that says, “UNDER THE ‘NRA’ THIS FACTORY SHALL ADVANCE WAGES AND MINIMIZE HOURS OF ALL EMPLOYEES. HENCEFORTH WE SHALL EMPLOY WHITE HELP ONLY.”
How the same dynamics apply to minimum wage legislation (and all other labor regulation) is left as an exercise for the enterprising reader.