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The struggles during the Great Depression that people experienced were no laughing matter, and everyone had to find different ways to survive.
Author Gloria Gipson Suggs deeply understands the events during the Great Depression. She wrote Piece-A-Way Crossroads, a fictionalized account of the lives of Peter and Rhea, a couple who resided in Marshall County, Mississippi, from the 1930s to the 1960s. It’s a compilation of different people’s stories readers will find compelling.
Living during the Great Depression is something that most of us can only imagine. Today, we’ll talk about the hardships that regular people faced when the economy was at its lowest.
Family Breakdowns Were a Common Occurrence
Financial pressure has a negative psychological impact, particularly for men who are unexpectedly unable to support their families. In 1933, the suicide rate in the country reached a record high.
Even though many couples couldn’t afford to divorce, marriages became strained. While abandonment rates rose in the 1930s, divorce rates fell. Some men ran away from their families out of humiliation or irritation. This phenomenon was commonly called a “poor man’s divorce.”
Over two million males and females are thought to have joined the itinerant hobo population. Some of these were young people who left their homes in search of employment because they believed they had grown to be a strain on their families.
No One Was Safe — Even Affluent Individuals
During the worst of the Great Depression, four years following the 1929 stock market crash, almost a quarter of the American workforce was unemployed. Those fortunate to have permanent jobs frequently experienced pay reductions or part-time schedules.
Even middle-class professionals with higher salaries, including doctors and lawyers, witnessed a 40 percent decline in their take-home pay. Before, financially secure families were abruptly faced with financial uncertainty or, in certain instances, disaster.
The struggles during the Great Depression were undoubtedly hard. Gloria Gipson Suggs’s book Piece-A-Way Crossroads is a compilation of different people’s stories. Life during the Great Depression is brilliantly displayed, even the gritty details, in the book that readers will appreciate.
Plenty of Women Started Entering the Workforce
A second-wage earner helped some families retain their middle-class standard of living. Even though there was widespread unemployment throughout the Great Depression, more married women were working.
Married women were chastised by some for taking employment when numerous men were unemployed. This was unfair because, at the time, women were often given service industry positions or clerical jobs that society thought weren’t acceptable for men to do.
Women found employment as nurses, secretaries, instructors, and telephone operators. However, businesses frequently pay female employees less than male employees.
“Thrift Gardens” and Potlucks Became the Norm
Homemakers during the Great Depression learned how to maximize their food budget using casseroles and one-pot dinners from women’s publications and radio programs. Chipped beef on toast, soups, macaroni and cheese, and chili were favorites.
Potlucks, frequently hosted by churches, have gained popularity as inexpensive ways to socialize and exchange food. To be self-sufficient, many households maintained tiny kitchen gardens filled with herbs and vegetables.
Some municipalities and localities permitted the transformation of abandoned areas into neighborhood “thrift gardens” where locals could cultivate food. Detroit’s thrift garden initiative fed around 20,000 people between 1931 and 1932.
Lots of experienced gardeners were seen aiding former office workers. The gardeners would still wear white button-down slacks and shirts to develop their plots.
Families Getting Government Support Became Less Stigmatized
Before the Great Depression, most Americans disapproved of government charity programs and shunned receiving assistance. The identities of welfare beneficiaries were published in several towns’ local newspapers.
Unfortunately, even though attitudes regarding government help started to soften, many families still saw receiving charity as an unpleasant and humiliating experience.
The Effects and Struggles During the Great Depression Remains
It’s crucial to recognize that the Great Depression did not just affect America. The exact unemployment and declining living standards were present in other nations. However, when the Great Depression got underway, America became increasingly isolationist.
For instance, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act raised the import duty to safeguard and assist American companies. While it had minimal impact in America, other nations hurried to enact their taxes, which hurt the global economy.
Get a Wonderful Retelling of the Struggles During the Great Depression
Nobody would want to relive the Great Depression, but we can learn much from other people’s written experiences. Having a compilation of different people’s stories, like Gloria Gipson Suggs’ Piece-A-Way Crossroads, can provide helpful insight.
Take the opportunity to read Gloria Gipson Suggs’ book today by clicking here, and follow a great story during a tough time!