How did the Great Depression affect families and minorities? Discuss your answer thoroughly not with just facts, but actual ways in which these people were affected. 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I assume that you are asking about minorities and white families, since minorities have families as well. We should not talk about “minorities” and “families” as if they are necessarily different groups. In this answer, I will discuss how the Depression affected essentially all Americans. After that, I will talk about ways in which minorities were affected differently than whites were.

Most Americans were affected by the Great Depression because it was a time when the US economy crashed so badly. Unemployment rates skyrocketed, reaching as high as 33%, according to some studies. Many people who still had jobs were not able to work as many hours or make as much money as they previously had. (I assume that this is what you mean by “facts.” I will now discuss what I think you mean by “actual ways” people were affected.) The Great Depression made it harder for people to lead normal lives. Their lives had been disrupted by the economic crash. Fewer people got married and people who were married had fewer children because they did not have confidence in their futures. There was a lot more stress on people as well because they did not know how they would be able to provide for themselves and their families.

Minorities were mostly affected in the same ways as whites. However, the effects on minorities tended to be greater. This is because many businesses tended to lay minorities off in order to allow white people to have jobs. It is also because many government programs helped whites first and only helped minorities if there was any money left over to do so. It is said that unemployment among African Americans got as high as 75%.

Most Americans were affected by the Great Depression. They were affected in very tangible ways because so many of them lost their jobs or saw their incomes drop drastically. They were also affected in less tangible ways as they faced much more stress and had their overall quality of life go down.