African American Self Determination Essay

Decent Essays
During the interwar era [1919-40], Americans engaged in contentious political debates about the meaning of democracy and the role that the government should play in fostering this ideal. This could be seen by how the concept of self-determination was changed into a new rhetoric by multiple groups of individuals, more specifically African Americans and labor workers. This new rhetoric differed, to a certain degree, from the US federal government. African Americans viewed democracy as a way to be less marginalised. This concept drove their view of how their self-determination would be achieved through enfranchisement. More specifically, it was during this period that African Americans became largely mobile such that they began to move from the agricultural south to the…show more content…
Their self-determination and how they viewed democracy was determined by labor movements such as the creation of the CIO. The CIO “argued that government regulation was not enough to ensure fair working conditions and that what was needed was union rights and collective bargaining agreements” (lecture which American way, slide 7). Their rhetoric was based on the idea that workers’ rights need to be protected and that it is necessary to implement these ideas into the New Deal, and create federal legislation that would make this the norm. Moreover, in alliance with the CIO was the Communist Party which advocated for a more “popular front strategy” (slide 9). Therefore, due to the rise of this particular leftist movement, FDR enacted a second New Deal that was more populist. In doing so, supporting strong labor unions. What can then be argued is that the meaning of democracy for the labor unionists was similar to that of the federal government as some of their rights were protected as well as their concerns
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