Interview with Dossie Acklin (excerpt). Dossie Acklin was born December 19, 1910 in Pico, Alabama. In this interview Acklin discusses his life as a young black man growing up in Alabama, his education, sharecropping, and working as a farmer. He recounts life during the Great Depression .... [and] different programs that came about during the time of Roosevelt such as Social Security, WPA, CCC, etc. Courtesy of Eastern Kentucky University. [This is an audio file only.]

Minority groups were especially hard hit by the depression but were not always given equal opportunity for participation in the relief and recovery programs. A quarter of a million African Americans were employed in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) though this amounted to only 10 percent of the jobs.

Due to complaints from local community leaders, African American CCC members were forced to serve in segregated units. African Americans serving under the Tennessee Valley Authority lived in substandard housing compared to their white counterparts and African American tenant farmers suffered greatly from the policies put in place by the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA).

With the increasing criticism of the New Deal’s discriminatory practices, some government officials such as Mary Macleod Bethune and Harold Ickes, worked to provide more educational opportunities to African Americans as well as roles in government.

The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, through the leadership of John Collier, sought “to restore Indian culture and heritage, address communal land base and land purchase issues, and regenerate tribal self-government.” While Collier’s efforts were often criticized, they brought a new consciousness about Native Americans to the country.

“African-Americans and the New Deal's Civilian Conservation Corps” EDSITEment: The Best of Humanities on the Web. http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/african-americans-and-new-deals-civilian-conservation-corps#sect-background

“A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of Native Americans and the New Deal: The Office Files of John Collier, 1933-1945” http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/academic/upa_cis/2127_NatAmsNewDealCollier.pdf