How did the New Deal programs affect African Americans in the arts?

The Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) gave young black writers and scholars such as Horace R. Cayton, St. Clair Drake, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright job opportunities and training.

The Federal Music Project staged concerts including the works of black composers; the Federal Art Project employed hundreds of black artists; and the Federal Theater Project established a black unit that employed about 500 blacks in New York, developed dramatic productions on black life and history, and carried shows to black communities throughout the country.

By 1941, there were about 150,000 African American federal employees.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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