To be a young black women in the 1930's thru the 1960's growing up in the SouthEast was really hard for Harper Lee. There were allot of different kinds of struggles she had to face. She had to face the Great Depression, being Black, Women's Rights, and the Jim Crow Laws.
The Great Depression : The great depression was a catastrophic time period for all workers. But like always the Blacks had it worse. They were getting pushed out of unskilled jobs. According to https://socialistworker.org/2012/06/28/blacks-and-the-great-depression, Blacks faced unemployment of 50 percent or more, compared with about 30 percent for whites. Black wages were at least 30 percent below those of white workers, who themselves were barely at subsistence level. This made times really hard for every black person, it was hard for them to provide for their families. The Liberal Roosevelt administration released this act in 1933 called The National Recovery Act (NRA). Which the Blacks referred to it as the Negro Removal Act. Even though their goal was nondiscriminatory hiring for both Whites and Blacks, but the NRA public works rarely employed Blacks at this time.
Times where so hard that parents had to sell their kids.
Racism : In the South racism was an everyday thing between the Whites and the Blacks. Also according to https://socialistworker.org/2012/06/28/blacks-and-the-great-depression, Blacks were either excluded or forced to organize in separate unions, such as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Black workers who tried to organize often found themselves a target of lynch mobs, in both the North and South. During all those things happening racism was central to the debate over craft vs. industrial unionism. Industrial unionism organized a plant-wide union, regardless of particular jobs, meaning that Blacks in the most dangerous, dirty and low-paid jobs would be in the same local as better-paid whites. To me this helped like 2% because there was still racism between the two races, the Whites would still say smart remarks and the Black would retaliate, so the mix up would not be a great idea.
Women's Rights: Women back then had no rights. They did not even get to have a voice in big discussions they had to sit behind their husbands and just go along with everything. Women could not vote. According to http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/uhic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?query=&prodId=UHIC&displayGroupName=Reference&limiter=&disableHighlighting=true&displayGroups=&sortBy=&zid=&search_within_results=&action=2&catId=&activityType=&documentId=GALE%7CCX3468301237&source=Bookmark&u=sand55832&jsid=ff1c546a17b62d2d1ce4007351b97724, women in the 1930s in fact entered the workforce at a rate twice that of men—primarily because employers were willing to hire them at reduced wages. Women were employed for some good jobs, but were paid half or even less then what men make in those days. According to the Social Security Administration, women's average annual pay in 1937 was $525, compared with $1,027 for men. Added to these poor working conditions and low wages, women who worked faced social criticism in the 1930s, since they were believed to be taking jobs away from men. This made it really hard for women to make a living for themselves without bad things happening to them. But throughout the years women fought and never gave up for what they believe in, and now they have the same maybe even more rights than men.
JIm Crow Laws : It stated segregation where they had separate bathrooms, restaurants, parks and even water fountains. This law made the black people be put in a status as lower second class citizens. according to http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm, that many Christian ministers and theologians taught that whites were the Chosen people, blacks were cursed to be servants, and God supported racial segregation. Times were really hard for the Blacks in those times. Law had stated that Blacks and Whites could not eat together in the same venue, and if it did happen then the Whites would get served first and there would have to be a separation between the two races. This started the big movement for integration and equality for both races.
What I think : Everything I had written and what I gathered from some reliable sources just makes realize how hard life was back then. But I just hate to know or to realize how that this is what we were really like, and it just makes me want to cry. But growing up and having kids and having to tell them that this is their past just breaks my heart because no one wants to hear or tell about the bad things that happened in life. I just hope that people will learn to understand that things have changed and that it's time for them to change or things won't get better.