Society And Culture In The 1920's

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Society & Culture Society and culture played a major role in America during the 1920’s. Arguably one of the biggest health related instances in America during the early to mid 1920’s were the Radium Girls and other associated radiation deaths. The Radium Girls were factory workers at watch factories in West Orange, New Jersey who died with major injuries, including gum lesions and necrosis of the jaw, due to exposure to luminous paint laced with radiation (Jacobson). They died between 1922 and 1924. These workers had used luminous paints to which radium and other radium isotopes had been added as illuminating agents to create a vivid paint that was used to create the faces on watch dials (Jacobson). Some women contracted the radiation from…show more content…
The Radium Girls and the widespread use of radium in the United States during the 1920’s say that the entire country wanted to grow its markets by using different methods and techniques. It also showed that people were willing to experiment even without knowing the consequences that might occur. Americans seemed oblivious to the effects of chemicals on their bodies. Many people might argue that Americans did know the effects of radium but let it slide because it mainly affected women and immigrants, who were seen as lesser people, but this is untrue. Citizens of America truly did not understand the threat dangerous substances posed to people. At the time, radiation was generally thought of as safe and healthy. In the 1920s, radium was infused into common items such as candy, toothpaste, face lotions, ointments, and even patent medicines (Jacobson). Women mainly had this job because radium was often thought of as a miracle substance that could make women prettier and more desirable (Jacobson). This demonstrated that during the 1920’s, superficial ideas such as beauty were common among Americans and that superficiality was more important than what is on the inside. The fact that jobs like the Radium Girls had were so desirable proved that the United States during the Roaring 20’s fed on consumerism and the cycle of producing,…show more content…
The Harlem Neighborhood became a safer community for African Americans who migrated from the south to the north during the Great Migration. The Great Migration, starting in about 1890, relocated hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, where many discovered they had shared common experiences in their past (Aldredge). Instead of wallowing in self-pity and the past, these people started an explosion of cultural pride. This situation reflected on the country as a whole and showed the best of times because it demonstrated how people in the country could unite under one cause and start something huge. Job opportunities were created for people who had little to no skill, which was uncommon during the 20’s decade. This also helped to create an economic boom to pull the country out of an economic recession. Harlem became a prime example for other African American communities in the United States of America and a positive symbol of African American culture. The Harlem Renaissance showed that African Americans were growing in power and stepping away from the oppression they faced to a better future, one they were willing to fight for. Along with the artistic and literary elements of the Harlem Renaissance, progressive African American civic and political projects were formed. This included projects such as the Universal Negro Improvement

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