Tag Archives: Lyndon Johnson

RFK: Beginnings of Politics & Race Relations – Nawal

Rose And Joseph Kennedy Family 1938

Economy:

Robert F Kennedy was born into a wealthy family in 1925. Although they were in the Great Depression, his family never faced poverty like many Americans around them. The reason behind how exactly they got their fortune is very interesting. It would later be a surprising turn of events that Kennedy would focus on the country’s poverty problem when it had never affected him personally. Although the country was struggling financially, WWII was a major success for the economy. Before, there was concern that the economy would not get better after its plummet in 1929. Similar to Lyndon Johnson’s accomplishments being blinded by the Vietnam War, Herbert Hoover’s legacy as a president was overshadowed by the Great Depression. Poverty rates decreased by 21% between 1935 and 1950. It would decrease by another 6% from 1950 to 1960. Because of the prosperity, not much attention was paid to the country’s poverty. Although poverty had been significantly reduced over the 25 years, much of it was disproportionately racialized. There was a direct correlation between race and wealth. More black families were below the poverty line than white families. However, when it came to racial issues, many politicians did not think much about them, instead deciding to focus on foreign relations. Kennedy was one them, especially during the 1950s.  Continue reading