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Early 20th Century Battles

Black resistance efforts faced many challenges, especially in the South. Many Black people lived in rural communities where organizing was difficult. The sharecropping system kept African Americans (and lower class whites) poor and economically dependent.

Setting the stage

Early 20th Century America was influenced by international politics and engagement in World War I (1914-1918).  

At a time when dominant global forces were seen as allies or threats, the United States public was in a state of turmoil and uncertainty as its men — of all races — went to war overseas. This time in history also ushered in Prohibition (1920-1933(, which was a federal constitutional ban on the sale, making, and transportation of alcohol.

The 1930’s were marked by the Great Depression (1929-1939) as the world was left in economic crisis.  

Soon thereafter many global powers, including the United States, entered into World War II (1939-1945) further influencing political thought and action of Americans. These national and global events set the background as African Americans and women fought for suffrage in the United States.