Based on your understanding of Dr. Munoz's lecture on the Great Depression, lets consider how some of the ideas and background she provided relate to Sal Castro's life. (They do, TRUST ME.)

How did African Americans and poor/struggling whites/Euro Americans experience the Great Depression?

  • Everyone was hit hard by the Great Depression, but minorities were hit especially hard because of racial discrimination.
  • Pay scales were discriminatory and Mexican-American laborers and African Americans were often paid much less for the same work that white Americans were
    • Pay scales for women were even worse!
  • Deportation increased, even forcing some Mexican-Americans to be sent to Mexico

How does their race or class affect their experience?

  • Classes became further separated by race and the divide between rich and poor was exacerbated
  • The wage gap was even more of a problem because it was harder for minorities to even find the same kind of work they had previously found and had to accept positions lower than what would necessarily support their families; the little work they found wasn't usually enough to support families
  • People who had previously filled middle-wage jobs were forced to take lower-level positions, which pushed the lower-wage earners (mostly minorities) out of the workforce!
  • Business owners actually benefited from cheaper labor costs because they could hire at cheaper wages and get the same labor for less compensation

How does the Mexican American and Mexican immigrant experience differ?

  • Focus was put on hiring Americans and not giving jobs to Mexican immigrants, but Mexican-Americans were often lumped in with immigrants and prevented from getting jobs in that way.
  • Difficulties in maintaining family structures arose from the deportation and separation that occurred as a result of the GD

How does the context(background) on the Great Depression affect Castro's life?

  • Racism against Mexicans and Mexican Americans increased as blame was directed at "others" for the economic problems of the time.

What happens in his personal life?

  • He was born in the Great Depression (1933) and so poverty and discrimination from the GD were a part of his reality growing up
  • He had to contribute to his family income from an early age, which limited his educational opportunities and social mobility