According to Farewell To The Party of Lincoln written by Nancy Weiss, how did the New Deal impact black Americans on a social, economic, and political basis?

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As Weiss makes clear, the New Deal was generally beneficial to black Americans in economic terms as it brought them far greater job opportunities than ever before. To a large extent, they shared in the benefits provided by the Roosevelt administration's radical program.

It was largely because of this that black voters abandoned their previously loyal support of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, to support Roosevelt's Democrats. The 1936 election, a massive landslide for FDR, was the first election in which a majority of black voters voted for the Democratic candidate. That pattern has been repeated in every single presidential election since.

However, the relation of black America to the Roosevelt administration is a good deal more complex than this would suggest. As Weiss reminds us, black people supported FDR in spite of his record on race, not because of it. They voted for Roosevelt because they knew that his policies would give them greater employment opportunities than under the Republicans, not because they saw him as some kind of savior.

The suspicion of many black people toward FDR was largely justified. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt was notoriously reluctant to deal with issues such as job discrimination, civil rights abuses, and lynching. This was because the president relied on white supremacist southern Democrats in Congress to get his New Deal legislation passed.

Overall, Weiss is less than enthusiastic in her estimation of the New Deal's effect on black America. While acknowledging the undoubted economic benefits it brought, she reminds us of the New Deal's many deficiencies in terms of race relations, and how it did little or nothing to challenge deep-seated structural discrimination in American society.

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