Jeffery T. D. WallaceJuly 16, 2020
While President Franklin Roosevelt and a Democratic-led Congress were crafting the New Deal in the 1930s, and defending its Depression-era social programs against Republican opposition, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt amplified the voices of America’s youth when she expressed that she was terrified of losing an entire generation. America’s youngest workers, predominately in low-wage, low-skilled jobs, were most severely impacted then and during every major economic downturn since. The New Deal operationalized the most comprehensive relief, reform and recovery effort in U.S. history. It was inclusive of youth, providing young men and women with access to employment opportunities and financial assistance, though not equitably. Because of segregation, African Americans received less financial support than their white counterparts, even when they applied for it.