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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945) (x)

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"CCC Youth Refuses To Fan Flies Off Officer"

This account from the Norfolk (Virginia) Journal and Guide, an African-American newspaper, describes the CCC's response to the dishonorable discharge of an African-American corpsman who refused to fan flies off of a white officer. After a protest by [...]

A Black New Yorker Describes Life in a CCC Camp (with text supports)

Luther C. Wandall, an African American from New York, recalls his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps in an account originally published in The Crisis in 1935.

A "CCC Youth Refuses to Fan Flies Off Officer" (with text supports)

This newspaper account tells about how the NAACP successfully intervened in the case of an African American member of the Civilian Conservation Corps who was dishonorably discharged after he refused to fan flies off an white officer.

A War Worker Finds New Independence on the Job

When Los Angeles resident Beatrice Morales Clifton went to work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, California, she was a married mother of four children. In this excerpt from a longer interview, Morales Clifton, the daughter of Mexican [...]

A Midwestern Runaway Remembers the CCC

During the Great Depression, many young people left home to search for economic opportunity (and sometimes adventure) on the open roads of America. Jim Mitchell was a sophomore in high school when his father lost his job, sending the family into [...]

A Midwestern Runaway Remembers the CCC (with text supports)

Jim Mitchell, who joined the CCC in 1933, recalls how joining the program gave him a sense of purpose and pride, as well as skills. This document includes text supports, including definitions.

Background Essay on Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was a renowned photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history. Gordon Parks was the first [...]

A Black New Yorker Describes Life in a CCC Camp

Luther C. Wandall, an African American from New York City, wrote the following account of life in a segregated Civilian Conservation Corps camp for Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Wandall tells [...]

"Growing Up in Down Times: Children of the Great Depression"

This essay provides historical perspective on the social, political, and economic circumstances of the Great Depression. It suggests some ways the hard times of the 1930s affected young people and left their mark on them as adults.

"Don't Buy Where You Can't Work": Political Activism in Depression-Era Harlem

This text highlights the growth of political activism that took place in Harlem during the Great Depression. Discriminatory hiring practices and widespread unemployment triggered job campaigns focused on increasing black employment in the largely [...]

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