CHARACTERS ´ The Black Cabinet

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The Black CabinetFicial advisory council to lobby the President But with the white Southern vote so important to the fortunes of the Party the path would be far from smoothMost prominent in the Black Cabinet were Mary McLeod Bethune an educator close to Eleanor Roosevelt and her boys Robert Weaver a Harvard educated economist who pioneered enforcement standards for federal anti discrimination guidelines and years later the first African American Cabinet secretary; Bill Hastie a lawyer who would become a federal appellate judge; Al Smith head of the la. Please note that I received this book via NetGalley This did not affect my rating or reviewNot too much to say This was a solid book of history though a bit dry at times as much history books are and I enjoyed it I honestly recall hearing about this when I was in college but had no idea about the Black Cabinet during high school Since I focused most of my studies on Far East Asia I never really delved deeper into US history after my degree prereuisites I think Jill Watts does a great job of providing details about the period of time during the Franklin D Roosevelt years of 1933 1945 I thought that that this book was eye opening about racism that many of this officials had to deal with Many were seen as token hires and had to deal with discrimination in the cabinetsdepartments there were working in and or heading up I think many would want to give Roosevelt some credit here but you also see how a lot of times he did nothing than lip service For example a lot of African Americans did not benefit at all from many of the New Deal Acts that were passed Shocking I know One of the most important things about the men and women who belonged to this group was the fact that they laid the foundation to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States

SUMMARY The Black Cabinet

CHARACTERS ´ The Black Cabinet ô In the early 20th century most African Americans still lived in the South disenfranchised impoverished terrorized by white violence and denied the basic rights of citizenship As the Democrats swept into the White House on a wave of black defectors from the Party of Lincoln a group of African American intellectuals legRgest black jobs program in the New Deal at the WPA; and Robert Vann a newspaper publisher whose unstinting reporting on the administration's shortcomings would keep his erstwhile colleagues honest Ralph Bunche Walter White of the NAACP A Philip Randolph and others are part of the story as well But the Black Cabinet was never officially recognized by FDR and with the demise of the New Deal it disappeared from historyJill Watts's The Black Cabinet is a dramatic full scale examination of a forgotten moment that speaks directly to our ow. THIS SHOULD BE REUIRED READING Filled with so much history much that is never or seldom told I know that I knew very little of what I read this should be reuired reading for everyone It once again tells of how the white supremacy tried to push people of color down and how they rose and rose and rose and even with much adversity not only survived but thrived and grew Led by Mary McLeod Bethune who seriously did not know what NO meant especially when it was a NO because of the color of her skin or because she was a woman or both The Black Cabinet was an important part of America's history and of the time of FDR I was constantly flabbergasted by what I was reading so many things that are continually hid from America it is important that we know our history good or bad FDR while doing much good for this country was very slow in helping black America and the problems of housing jobs and the hideous practice of lynching And while we cannot discount all the good he DID do for this country learning about his unwillingness to address the practice of lynching and decrying it as evil and punishable was extremely disheartening And really makes the good he DID do look trivial and inconseuential I highly recommend this book and I also recommend the audiobook read by the incomparable Bahni Turpin Ms Turpin makes this book come alive and brings you right into the time and actions that are going on It is one of the better narrations I have listened to in a long time Thank you to NetGalley and Grove AtlanticGrove Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review

Jill Watts ¼ 9 CHARACTERS

In the early 20th century most African Americans still lived in the South disenfranchised impoverished terrorized by white violence and denied the basic rights of citizenship As the Democrats swept into the White House on a wave of black defectors from the Party of Lincoln a group of African American intellectuals legal minds social scientists media folk sought to get the community's needs on the table This would become the Black Cabinet a group of African American racial affairs experts working throughout the New Deal forming an unof. If you have ever taken an American History course the topic of the Black Cabinet usually gets a cursory overview The Black Cabinet is usually described as a group of African American leaders and intellectuals who President Franklin Roosevelt assembled to advise him on issues important to the African American community That well known description is FALSE In Jill Watts’ new book she tells the true story of how the Black Cabinet formed in the FDR years and the successes and failures that the group faced The Black Cabinet is a well researched book on the history of national African American politics from the early 20th Century through the age of Franklin Roosevelt Readers will be amazed to learn about the Black Cabinet’s roots and its battles with Presidents of both parties in the first three decades of the 20th Century However things began to change during the Depression years and the African American vote which had been reliably Republican since the time of Lincoln was now up for grabs Lifelong Black Republicans began to flirt with voting for the Democrats and in 1932 Franklin Roosevelt is elected president with the help of Black votes promising a New Deal for the American people However the New Deal was not beneficial to African Americans at the very beginning and throughout FDR’s tenure; progress for African Americans came in fits and starts The Black Cabinet was influential in pushing and advocating for policies that would help African Americans Watts’ unveils that the Black Cabinet consisted of over 100 members but had five core influential members Mary McLeod Bethune the titular leader of the Cabinet Robert Weaver Bill Hastie Al Smith and Robert Vann Many students of African American history may be familiar with Bethune but may not be familiar with her “boys” as they were affectionately called Watts does a great job covering their lives their successes and the challenges they faced as Black Cabinet members All five core members had to fight to be heard and were strong advocates for their causes all at the risk of losing their jobs being transferred to other agencies or being labeled a Communist by Members of Congress Many American historical books put the president as the focal point of the story; however Watts’ book does not do that FDR is of course an important figure but this book is about the bureaucratic figures behind the scenes that pushed for change The members of the Black Cabinet were not officially appointed by FDR neither were they confirmed by the Senate but these informal leaders and scholars had a major impact on civil rights and economic policies affecting African Americans in the 1930s and 1940s They were also precursors to the modern Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s Many of the policies that they advocated for did not come into fruition during their time in the Roosevelt administration but were enacted in the decades to come Watts’ phenomenal book sheds light on these figures; they need to be known by people Students of history and politics will enjoy reading this groundbreaking work Thanks to NetGalley Grove Press and Jill Watts for a free ARC copy in exchange for an honest reviewMy review can also be found on Medium also hosted a book discussion with the author on May 17 2020 You can read the highlights here