Choose one of the following jazz artists/groups from the list below to research the way(s) in which race and/or diversity played a role in their interactions with American society in the earlier part of the 20th century (1900’s -1960’s.) This could include employment issues – performance opportunities, equal treatment, touring issues – hotels, travel options, etc.), criminal justice issues (cabaret cards, arrests, drug use-targeting of musicians and neighborhoods, etc.) and other societal issues of the day. Learn how they responded (or were forced to respond) to these issues and how they involved themselves in issues of civil rights and race and diversity discrimination. Discuss how they used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues.
List of Jazz Artists/Groups who were affected by issues of Diversity and/or Race and some of the issues they dealt with. The list of issues are JUST suggestions of a place to start your research, you need to find much more material on the artist you choose.
Louis Armstrong – early 20th century stardom for a Black musician
Fletcher Henderson – Black swing bands vs. White Swing Bands – opportunities, acceptance, Black composers/arrangers and White Swing Bands
Benny Goodman – segregation, Black and White musicians playing together
Billie Holiday – female jazz performer, “Strange Fruit”, cabaret card, drug issues
John Coltrane – “Alabama”, how he used his music to comment on Society
Cannonball and Nat Adderley Sextet – raised awareness through their music – “Work Song”, and other songs which were inspired by African American history and traditions. Active in Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s.
Papers need to be written in a professional style. Basic standards for grammar, sentence structure, citations (if used), and other considerations for a Research Paper style assignment need to be observed. APA or MLA citation standards should be used.
In order to achieve the highest grade you need to include the following topics in your presentation:
A short description of the Artist or group and what issue(s) of discrimination based on race and/or diversity you are writing about.
How race and/or diversity affected their interaction with society during their historical period in America
What sort of responses (if any) the artist/group made to react to the racially/diversity-divided society found in America as jazz music grew along with the country.
How the artist/group used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues
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