In the article by Sitkoff, he notes that the basic alteration during this era of civil rights was merely a change in public attitudes in relation to race, which resulted from three convoluted causes: individuals and institutions willing to change, impersonal forces behind them and the chain of versatile events. The author indicates that there were several individuals during this era accountable for stirring attitudes concerning African-American race. Despite blacks having experienced success in the American society, the author has the view that they suffered the most during the time of Depression and claims that starvation haunted them instantly after the New Deal. There were protests to disparage the allowance of blacks to have jobs until all whites secured jobs; they did not hold public offices and their college attendance was significant low (35). Harry Locks tried to establish jobs for blacks in his campaigns for non-discrimination, but his efforts were thwarted quickly by agencies like CCC and NRA (47). Eleanor Roosevelt passionately fought for equality in races in the white house, and was often alleged to have a black lover.
In accordance with the author, another force in the fight against discrimination was the racial philosophy transformation in the 1930s. For instance, contrary to avoiding concerns of race in politics, the black vote was perceived as a potential power balance, which gave political, parties incentive of winning their support. Initially, the socialists were against mentioning the race fearing that they were to be branded as red and black as well; however, communist party eventually became crucial in building equality in races. Additionally, Nazism had also scarred the racism subject and the majority of scientific studies concerning race were undertaken during this period and they indicated that darker skin did not cause inferiority. This was fighting the common philosophy, which was being preached that blacks were Canaan descendants and hence were obliged to serving.
Sitkoff also discusses many events occurring during this period. He notes that during the Roosevelt administration, the U.S. Supreme Court was significantly involved in miscellaneous racial equality cases, which dealt with issues ranging from jury selection to voting rights to constitutional verdicts. Americans were made aware of Jim Crow laws hypocrisy, which called for equality but were never implemented. During 1930s, lynching and segregation were major issues and often informed the politicians platform as they ran for office. Interracial groups like NAACP and Urban League rose into action at this period and gave hope and support for African Americans when they lacked voice. This explains why the Sitkoff, claims that definitely the mass of events during this period resulted to restoration of public stance towards blacks.
In the book When affirmative action was white, Katnelson examines the manner in which a new deal policy decisions methodically excluded African Americans which resulted to global gap between the whites and blacks that impelled the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson, which has become the contemporary affirmative action. The author disagrees with the fact that in order to understand affirmative action policies fully and come up with practicable foundation for affirmative action, one ought to examine policies used during World War II, postwar America, and Great Depression, which hindered blacks from collecting the benefits of the social initiatives and effectively creating affirmative actions for whites. This differs with the work by Sitkoff since Sitkoff gives an account of symbolic and substantive changes that ultimately resulted to the civil rights emergence as a national issue and helped in making a successful quest for racial justice.
Ira Katznelson, ‘When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America, W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (2006).
Harvard, Sitkoff, ‘A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue. Volume 1: The Depression Decade.’ New York: Oxford UP, Inc., (1978).