How Music Effected Civil Rights

Topics: Soul music, Rhythm and blues, African American Pages: 4 (1384 words) Published: April 18, 2007
How Music Effected Civil Rights
Before the 1950s, the racial segregation in society was very evident. However, the youth in America began opening up to change. One of the major influences in the changing America at that time was music. Jazz was the start of it all. Jazz triggered many different types of music, such as rock and roll and rhythm and blues. Jazz started the revolution of music in America, which prompted the racial integration of society.

This transformation of society began largely due to one man. He was perhaps one of the most famous Jazz musicians and composers of all time. His name was Duke Ellington. He was a very clean musician, well spoken, and very well educated. He was already big into the Jazz industry by the early age of 17. By the time he was in his early 40s, he was at the peak of his creativity in composing, and the peak of his career. During this time he became the first African American to set foot in Carnegie Hall. It took a lot of bargaining, but he arranged a deal to play a concert there. Undoubtedly, Ellington made ample amounts of money for Carnegie. This event is quite often looked at as the start of the Civil Rights Movement. For the first time, a black man was allowed to play his music in a predominantly white arena. As a result of this, many White people became turned on to the Jazz age. This started the integration of society because for the first time, people found something to connect them with another race. This special bond between the races was music (Cheetham).

Musicians were not the only ones who used the Jazz Age as a chance to equal the races. Journalists also played a part in the movement, such as James A. "Billboard" Jackson of Billboard. Jackson was renowned for voicing his opinion that Jazz and Blues artists were deserving of cultural elevation and wider success. He often used his column to report occurrences of racism in the music industry, and pushed for African American success in this industry across...

Cited: Cheetham, Andrew. "Introduction to Music." Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma. 8 Mar. 2007.
Crawford, Richard. America 's Musical Life. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2001.
Dyson, Michael . "What Would America Be Like Without Sixty Years of
Black Contributions?." Ebony 61.1Nov 2005 174-176. 09 Apr 2007 .
McRae, Richard. "Vincent, Ted. Keep Cool: The Black Activists Who Built the
Jazz Age." Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 20.231 Jul 1996 107. 09 Apr 2007 .
Reagon, Bernice, J. Smithsonian Institution. We 'll Understand it Better By and By. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.
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