Jazz Music: The Swing Era

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While the 1920s was known for the introduction of Jazz music, many consider the 1930s as the era to define the true meaning of jazz. The incredible transition that Jazz underwent, from a wild and reckless genre to an emotional and relatable one, rocked the mainstream music world. This had an immense impact on the general public's perception of African Americans that has affected history even to this day. This essay aims to emphasize some of Jazz's most racism-defying aspects and how they helped redefine an entire nation's perception regarding Black civil rights. The time frame where the Swing Era transpire did not occur of a time of peace and unity, but instead it occurred in an area of tensions between races and poverty. The Swing Era embodied…show more content…
To simply put it, Swing involved a "belief in American exceptionalism” and “democratic equality” (Stowe, 143). Furthermore, through its methods of dancing, "swing was a public, democratic art that helped ease social tension of the era" (Erenberg, 251). Swing’s ideology demonstrated to be so influential that most Americans and even foreigners associated Swing to being "America's most distinctive contribution to the world's musical culture" (Stowe, 142). The real value of Swing’s ideology was not the fact that it had a humane purpose rather people from all genders, colors, and beliefs began to welcome it, “every portion of society found some form of Swing favorable for their dancing or listening". This aided Swing's mission of "tolerance, mutual respect [and] even affection" (Stowe, 245) between people with different skin colors, as the large followers of Swing would be allowed to advocate the principles of its ideology to other…show more content…
President F.D.R. explained how "music would help 'promote tolerance of minority groups in our midst’ Swing would precede in an entirely new chapter in race relations, "one in which culture and race could be imagined as distinct and separate" (Stowe, 245). The fascinating phase of Swing was its absolute development of race relations in American Society. Instead of sports or other entertainment, "Swing was more racially and ethnically mixed than any other arena of American life" (Erenberg, 250). For instance, bands became more diverse and included both races such as Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman. As well, for the first time in Black musicians’ history, Duke Ellington earned national fame despite being a black bandleader. This mainstream popularity for an African-American art form opened the minds of countless Americans to the struggles of the Black community during a period where racist oppression was barely challenged in

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