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How World War Two Affected Black Immigration?

Introduction

The Second World War came with tremendous changes in both the social compositions of nations as well as the economic status of these countries. In as much as this war brought about disasters to nations, there were also benefits accruing from it. The black population, for example, benefited in various ways but they also faced untold sufferings at the hands of people who considered them as none or less human beings.

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Economic impacts

Black people’s employment rate went up during the Second World War. The USA army, in particular, was in urgent need of soldiers who could tackle the tough competent opponent countries such as Russia. During this time, Black people who had always been underlooked were recruited into the Army in large numbers. This marked a great change in the employment structure as well as social recognition in the history of Black people. Migration increased, particularly from South America into the USA and Canada. The search for jobs was intensified as a result of the high labor demand in these two countries (Sides 46).

The army of the USA was made up of about 900,000 black people and this indicates their contribution to the war and the general wellbeing of the USA. Apart from the army, the majority of these migrants were employed in factories, others in ship docks, basically to assist in producing both domestic as well as warfare goods. General approximations reveal that the annual migration rate from Puerto Rico alone to North America stood at 30,000. As there were increased job opportunities, earnings rose hence the living standards of black people rose tremendously, which resulted in an increased birth rate hence their numbers increased likewise(Campbell& Loretta 25).

The average income of black people increased tremendously during the war period. In Seattle for instance in1945-1950, the black workforce was reaching an all-time high during the Cold War period. The population of Black people in Seattle actually went up by more than five thousand individuals. Proportionally, the average income of these individuals is reported to have been 3,300 dollars a month, which when compared to the white people in the same job classes all over the nation was just 4% less (Campbell& Loretta 25).

Social impacts

As the majority of South American men moved on to look for jobs in North America, their women followed them later on. There was an increase in the rate of migration as the majority of Black people increased tremendously and this was coupled with the fact that the USA government now recognized their importance to the growth of the national economy. Black writers for the first time had a chance to fully practice what they desired. In fact, they informed their black folks about the ongoing events in the nation, apart from earning a steady living from their profession.

However, the black population experienced intense racial discrimination at this time, and immigrants were treated worse off for that case. Restaurants, banks, public transport means offices and other social places were direct racial discrimination spots for black people as they were not treated like their white folk. This is the time when discrimination sprung up violently, especially in areas such as Los Angeles.

There were massive riots organized by the black immigrants in the USA particularly (Sides, 54). There was an overall increase in the West population by an average of 33% in the 1940s alone. Most states in the USA experienced increased populations, particularly those in the Coastal region including California and Washington.

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Daniels (2002) reveals that in the first place, the majority of immigrants in states such as Chicago were attracted by the cotton industry which was promising in employment. However, upon the invention of a cotton picker that was mechanical, most of the employment chances were foregone hence they moved to other areas where there were favorable working conditions and where there was assured employment. Women hence looked for jobs in factories and other low-paying jobs.

The most frustrating event for black women occurred when their husbands, their sons, and close male relatives were forcefully recruited for training and later on taken for fighting in faraway areas in an operation that was named ‘drafting’ (Daniels, 77). This way, black women faced major psychological torture on the black women. In fact, by the time most of the soldiers who had gone to war were coming back, marriage break-ups and divorce rates increased. Black people exerted an enormous impact on the culture of most cities where they settled. This included the introduction and spread of blues music, the evolution of different churches, cuisines, and other cultural aspects. These were a result of the integration of Black Americans and native white Americans.

The formation of Black Worker Unions and other unions for Black people across North America after 1942 helped to bring unity among the Black people. This way, they were better placed to fight for their rights. Eventually, there was relative equality in many areas such as San Francesco where previously, there was prevalent discrimination. Black people got employed in the transport industry and in construction sites. Others got jobs in banks and other public utilities (Jenkins, 36).

However, as Black Americans were integrated into the national army, ratio discrimination reduced as the role played by these soldiers in national prosperity was clearly evident. Black Americans, most of whom were immigrants, were then recognized and valued just like white Americans. The war played a very crucial part in liberating Black Americans from racial and economic discrimination. It was during this period from 1940 that there were more protests among the black people, in cities, schools, and colleges, led by individuals such as Martin Luther King (Jenkins, 45).

Conclusion

The Second World War enabled created numerous employment opportunities for people from all continents, including Europe. There was a need to evade hardship and find better pay, better working conditions, and better health care. This caused the influx rate to increase particularly in the USA and Canada. Black people, however, gained the most as employment chances increased and their living standards went up. However, this massive immigration during the 1940s marked the beginning of what has been regarded as deep racial and economic discrimination for Black people in their struggle to find a better life and to perpetuate their generation. This struggle has seen the emergence of present-day unions, human rights, and other anti-discrimination groups.

References

Campbell, Jeff and Loretta, Chilcoat. USA. Boston: Lonely Planet, 2004.

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: a history of immigration and ethnicity in American life. New York: Perennial, 2002.

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Jenkins, Wilbert, L. Seizing the New Day: African Americans in Post-Civil War Charleston Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2003.

Sides, Josh. L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present. University of California Press, 2006.

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