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However - However,,...

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However, many blacks were struggling even in the 1920s, and whites owned most of the businesses.  The Great Depression, beginning in 1929, hit hardest the poor. Employment improved during the  United States' involvement in World War II (1941–45), but Harlem's economy sank in the next twenty  years. By the 1960s, when  The Contender  takes place, housing conditions had deteriorated; there  were extensive slums. The African American middle class, made up of people like the novel's Aunt  Dorothy and Uncle Wilson, left Harlem for suburban areas like Queens. The repressive mood of  Lipsyte's first chapter is justified. It is the Harlem that Alfred first wants to escape and then wants to  change. The "nationalist rally," which Alfred and his family pass on their way to church at the beginning of  Chapter 4, and whose supporters Alfred later encounters, further reflects the culture of the time. 
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