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Escape from New YorkThe New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem$
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Davarian L. Baldwin and Minkah Makalani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677382

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677382.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019

“You Just Can’t Keep the Music Unless You Move with It”: The Great Migration and the Black Cultural Politics of Jazz in New Orleans and Chicago

“You Just Can’t Keep the Music Unless You Move with It”: The Great Migration and the Black Cultural Politics of Jazz in New Orleans and Chicago

Chapter:
(p.313) 13 “You Just Can’t Keep the Music Unless You Move with It”: The Great Migration and the Black Cultural Politics of Jazz in New Orleans and Chicago
Source:
Escape from New York
Author(s):

Charles Lester

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816677382.003.0014

This chapter examines the development of jazz within the context of the Great Migration and the New Negro aesthetic by focusing on the political activism of black musicians in New Orleans and Chicago. Between 1915 and 1930, more than one million African Americans left the South for the urban North, an exodus that came to be known as the Great Migration. The net effect of this Great Migration was an explosion of African American culture and entrepreneurship concentrated in places like Chicago’s South Side and Harlem. The cabarets and theaters of Chicago’s black entertainment district, known as “the Stroll,” acted as incubators that nurtured jazz from its infancy to adolescence. Here the music matured into a distinct Chicago style that blended southern and northern influences, cultures, and personalities to create a national—and uniquely American—musical art form. This chapter shows that black musicians actively sought to “make the American dream work” through efforts ranging from fish fries and lawn parties to organizing efforts such as forming benevolent societies in New Orleans or unionization in Chicago.

Keywords:   jazz, Great Migration, New Negro, political activism, New Orleans, Chicago, African Americans, South Side, Harlem, black musicians

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