Segregated Camps in the Civilian Conservation Corps
The CCC was created to employ young single men from ages 18 to 25 on outdoor conservation projects. Enrollees had to be physically fit and come from families that were on relief and to whom they were willing to send most of their pay. During its nine-year existence, the CCC distributed more than $2.4 billion in federal funds to employ more than 2.5 million jobless young men (up to 519,000 were enrolled at any one time) who worked in about 3,000 camps. According to the Texas Almanac, the CCC was of very limited assistance to Black families because of local bigotry and national CCC leaders’ political concerns. Though CCC rules forbade discrimination based on race, color or creed, the local relief boards often refused to enroll Blacks, particularly in the South. When they were enrolled, Blacks were almost always placed in segregated camps, not only in the South, but all over the country.
Social Security Excluded Most Blacks
The Social Security Act of 1935, which provided a safety net for millions of workers by guaranteeing them an income after retirement, excluded from coverage about half the workers in the American economy. Among the excluded groups were agricultural and domestic workers — job categories traditionally filled by Black workers.