The New Deal programs helped millions of Americans survive the Great Depression. However, they disproportionately left out African Americans. President Franklin Roosevelt needed the support of southern politicians to pass these programs. As a result, he often allowed them to push a racist agenda to permit the passage of these programs.
A major failure of the New Deal to help African Americans had to do with agricultural relief. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) attempted to raise farm prices by setting production quotas and pay farmers to plant fewer crops. This benefitted farm owners, but it did nothing for the African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers themselves. It actually made it worse for them as they found themselves without work while the farm owners still got paid not to farm their land.
Some New Deal programs were even more overtly racist. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) intentionally prioritized the unemployed of white people over minorities when hiring for various work projects. When African Americans were hired by the NRA, they received less pay than their white counterparts. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) promoted segregation, because it would not guarantee mortgages for African Americans looking to buy homes in white neighborhoods. Further, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had segregated living units.
Despite all these shortcomings, the New Deal still helped lift many African Americans out of poverty. Although there were grievous inequities, many minorities still found employment through these programs. By the end of the Great Depression, African Americans overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party which was responsible for the passage of the New Deal.