Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 18

Lament and
Hope in Angola
A History of
Immigration and
African Americans were among the first to be fired and the first to be evicted. The photo above (Jan 1939) is titled,
“Evicted sharecroppers along Highway 60, New Madrid County, Missouri.” Photo by Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress
The Social Security Act, enacted in 1935, was intended to provide a safety net for
workers, particularly those suffering during the Great Depression. During this time African
Americans were barely able to get by whether they were seniors, working-age adults,
or children. African Americans were more likely to be unemployed and paid less than
whites, which made it far less likely for them to receive support from unemployment
insurance. They also had no savings to draw upon or leave for later generations.
Sixty-five percent of African Americans were ineligible for Social Security unemployment
insurance at the time the law went into effect. The newly-created Social Security
system also excluded farmworkers and domestic workers—who were predominantly
black, Latino, and Asian—from receiving old age and unemployment insurance.
Source: Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Policy Packet (
LAMENT and HOPE: A Pan-African Devotional Guide


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