Racism and Prejudice in the Twentieth Century: A Tale of Jazz Music and its Musicians
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis explores the prejudice and tense racial relations minority jazz musicians experienced in the early to mid-twentieth century. By analyzing the lives and careers of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Artie Shaw the thesis attempts to answer the following questions: What were the experiences of early jazz musicians? How did White and Black jazz artists interact and cooperate with one another? What obstacles did each race face in the efforts to integrate? And finally, what lasting influences did discrimination have upon the musicians? These particular individuals were chosen because of their immense talent, fame, and relatively wide spread influence across multiple decades of jazz music; together, they provide a widespread view of the era. Through various integration efforts, these black and ethnic white jazz artists worked together in order to overcome both the negative image that American society had of jazz music and the negative image that American society held in regards to minorities.
Degree ProgramHonors College