Premium Essay

1920s African American Culture Essay

Submitted By
Words 1292
Pages 6
Throughout the 1920’s jazz music was a defining aspect of American culture; it also had a huge effect on society.. People of the time saw either playing or listening to jazz as a way to feel free or even escape from their daily lives.

With the social changes going on in the 20’s, like the parties and the way people behaved, jazz fit right in with the changing times. Many jazz enthusiasts will argue that you are born with a love of jazz (Jazz History: The Standards). Like Louis Armstrong once said, "if you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know" (Music with Ease > Jazz Quotes). In conjunction with the roaring twenties, jazz made it to the top and became widely known across the United States, and even some parts of Britain, making it a worldwide movement. It came very popular with people who wanted to get away from their normal lives and escape into the swing of jazz.

Novelist F Scott …show more content…
Jazz was viewed similarly to how rock or heavy metal music may be viewed today: rebellious. Whether one was rich or poor, jazz was something that could be enjoyed by all. Jazz is what brought 20’s African American culture to the white middle class. Through the melodies, jazz was able to bring many diverse groups together as a whole. In the end that's what music is all about.

Going along with F. Scott fitzgerald's major theme of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby can be a great representation of this time period. Unlike the great depression, hardly anybody had to worry about money until the end of this time period. Fitzgerald phrased it as "leaped to a spectacular death in October 1929." Before this though, prodigality was a part of everyone's lifestyle. Having popped up at the right time, jazz fit in with the fast paced lifestyle that had everyone spending and partying.(The Great Gatsby explains how the great Gatsby reflects the jazz

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Usso Harlem Renaissance Final Paper

...distinctive and varied "negro/black American" culture and it was centered here in Harlem of New York City. It was a culture movement that began around 1920s. Before it was called the Harlem renaissance it was known as the "New Negro Movement", that was named after the anthology edited by Alain Locke in 1925. The Harlem Renaissance grew out of the changes that had taken place in the black community since the abolition of slavery, and which had been accelerated as a consequence of the First World War. It can also be seen as specifically African-American response to an expression of the great social and cultural change taking place in America in the early 20th century under the influence of industrialization and the emergence of a new mass culture. This movement impacted urban centers throughout the United States. Across the cultural spectrum (literature, drama, music, art, dance) and also in social thought (sociology, philosophy), artists and intellectuals found new ways to explore the historical experiences of black America and the contemporary experiences of black life in the urban North. Challenging white superiority and racism, African-American artists and intellectuals rejected merely imitating the styles of Europeans and white Americans and instead celebrated black dignity and creativity. Asserting their freedom to express themselves on their own terms as artists, they explored their identities as black Americans, celebrating the black culture that had emerged out of slavery and...

Words: 1744 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Argumentative Essay: Changes In The 1920's

...NO THANKSGET THE APP Roaring Twenties Essay - Dulce Arriola Arriola Roaring Twenties During the 1920’s there was many ongoing situations which was changing America into modern America. Technology was advancing, different cultures were spreading, arts and music were blooming. After World War I everything called for a change in the nation, which was known as the Roaring Twenties. However, with America advancing laws were being created and discrimination was being a problem. Laws that were being created violated American civil rights, these laws made people break rules and it also increased discrimination. As technology increased so did the consumption of alcohol increased during the 1920’s. Alcohol was consumed by almost everyone, and it was bringing bad effects to America. The 18th amendment was passed, which was known for prohibition, banning every drink that contained alcohol, except medicine that contained alcohol. The law of prohibition violated people’s civil rights, it was forcing people to stop drinking when they have the freedom to do as they please. This led to Americans to breaking more laws which increased organized crime. For example, Americans opened speakeasies, gang members were still producing and transporting alcohol. By passing prohibition people were breaking more laws than when Americans were allowed to consume...

Words: 550 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


... An African-American cultural movement of the 1920’s centered in Harlem, that celebrated black traditions, the black voice, and black ways of life. Jazz and music Jazz was a new style of music created by African American musicians, featuring syncopated rhythms and improvisational solos It was so interesting because the improv aspect meant that no two performances could ever be the same Duke Ellington turned commercial radio into a place for music by performing jazz music from the Cotton Club, broadcasted to thousands of Americans Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday coined blues and jazz vocal solos Chick Webb (King of Swing) saved money as a paperboy to buy his drum set, and started playing professionally in Harlem at 11 years old, then later became the best-regarded band leader Louis Armstrong played jazz music on Broadway, a Creole Jazz Band, and at the Cotton Club. He played in many films and toured internationally. He was the man that made the most Americans begin to accept jazz into their culture II. Poetry Langston Hughes One of the most well known names of the Harlem Renaissance His writing reflected that black culture should be celebrated because is it just as valuable as white culture "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street...(these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going." said Langston One of Langston most famous work was his essay entitled "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" This essay talks about...

Words: 460 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

What Is The Connection Between Langston Hughes The Negro Artist And The Weary Mountain

...poet—not a Negro poet” (Hughes 348). In his essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” Langston Hughes covers many important points but his hook is one to mention. This hook focuses a lot on the main issue of the essay itself. The issue is that the negro poets want to write like the white poets implying that colored artists want to be white. This then leads to the fact that the white audiences turned to the artists of color and saw them as stereotypical entertainment mainly because these black artists were afraid of being themselves. Langston Hughes’s poem, “The Weary Blues” engages with themes of the Harlem Renaissance and the content of the poem expresses various issues Hughes discussed in “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” The poem, “The Weary Blues” is a powerful poem because it highlights the cultural traditions of the African American descent during a time of the Harlem Renaissance. The audience is able to...

Words: 1284 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Iwt Task 1

...artists’ style were in many ways similar; however, with advancing technology, they had differing struggles to overcome. The Harlem Renaissance was sparked by the Great Migration from 1919 – 1926 in which African Americans began moving to northern cities to find employment and a better way of life. The musicians of this era were very influential in renewing the culture and history of the United States. Jazz, race, and class divided Harlem and New York cities. Some historians have said the best way to understand the Harlem Renaissance is by understanding the music (; With the roots of jazz coming from slave songs, it is truly an African-American invention. This newly formed music utilized the dissonant “blue” note. This modification to the to the standard major scale allowed the musician to play the note flat; usually the third, fifth, or seventh note of the scale. Music critic Sidney Finkelstein stated, “It expresses the hope and struggle for freedom, the vitality which enables a people to wrest joy out of misery and to assert the triumph of human beings over the obstacles that would grind them down.” ("MindEdge," 2014) Jazz was the sound of the 1920’s; with the Roaring Twenties, individuality blossomed along with the pure jazz sounds from Harlem. Nightclubs began opening in New York. Many black musicians were employed to perform in these New York nightclubs...

Words: 2036 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Analyze How Regionalism and Nationalism Are Related to Different Modes of Listening to the Radio in the United States from 1920 to 1980.

...ECE 2980 – Inventing an Information Society Second Essay Assignment Analyze how regionalism and nationalism are related to different modes of listening to the radio in the United States from 1920 to 1980. For long it has been discussed how the radio changed the American people – but this analysis is far too diverse and particular to each individual, since the United States have a wide arrange of ethnicity, religions, races, generations and other remarkable differences between different people. This essay will therefore focus on how the different modes of listening to the radio brought together different nation feelings to society in different timings and places. A Cornell scholar, Benedict Anderson, while reflecting about the emerge of nationalism in one country said one day that it had to be imagined, since all the nation elements and individuals may never meet one another and “yet in the mind of each lives the image of their communion”. The first notable change in general knowledge and feeling about a nation was conceived on the newspaper, that would allow several people to read the same stories about the nation and its people at the same time. The newspaper was the first proof of a country to a regular citizen that through it, would get to know people from distant lands with whom he would share his first sense of non-local community. The importance of the radio wasn’t shadowed by the newspaper’s prior timing. Radio added one more sense to the world...

Words: 1988 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Fast and Free

...Harlem Renaissance From 1920 until about 1930 an unprecedented outburst of activity among African-Americans occurred in all field of art. Beginning as a series of literary discussions in the lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and upper Manhattan (Harlem) sections of New York City, this African-American cultural movement became known as “The New Negro Movement’’ and later as the Harlem Renaissance. More than a literary movement and more than a social revolt against racism, the Harlem Renaissance exalted the unique culture of African- Americans and redefined African-Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to become “The New Negro,” a term coined in 1925 by sociologist and critic Alain LeRoy Locke. One of the factors contributing to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the great migration of African-Americans to northern cities (such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) between 1919 and 1926. In his influential book The New Negro (1925), Locke described the northward migration of blacks as "something like a spiritual emancipation." One of the factors contributing to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the great migration of African-Americans to northern cities (such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) between 1919 and 1926. In his influential book The New Negro (1925), Locke described the northward migration of blacks as "something like a spiritual emancipation." In the 1920's African-Americans seemed to have passed through...

Words: 2049 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

“Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes

...Analysis of a Poem: “THEME FOR ENGLISH B” by Langston Hughes Theme for English B was written by Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes has inspired the hearts and paved the way for many African American poets. James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet and playwright whose African American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, artistic explosion which took place in Harlem between the end of World War 1 and the middle of the 1930s. Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He passed away in New York City on May 22, 1967 at the age of 65. Langston Hughes was a notorious American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. Langston Hughes was best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Most of Hughes best work was written during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. His poetry made a huge contribution to the African American culture and the entire world. As I begin to ponder about ‘’Theme for English B’’ (an assignment given by Hughes’ Professor for students to write a paper), I try to imagine how things were back then. The poem starts off referencing a 22 year old colored man who is making his way towards the Harlem Branch Y, where he begins to write an essay. This poem, “Theme for English B” allows Langston Hughes to tackle the biggest issues on his world during this period of time; a world where black people were subjected to a constant...

Words: 611 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Does Hurston Create Corruption In The Great Gatsby

...disillusion society from conforming with the problematic status quo, two of which were famous writers Zora Neale Hurston and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The two had their own respective grievances about the nation, but both used their writings to bring awareness about the follies of society. Hurston and Fitzgerald challenge the preconceived status quo of a perfect and progressive American society—set with values such as separate but equal, social classes, consumer culture, and so on—through their respective essay and novel, the former dealing with the erasure of African American culture due...

Words: 1156 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Outline For The Literature Of The Harlem Renaissance

...1. Review the timeline for the Literature of the Harlem Renaissance 1919-1940 on pp. 1377-1378 of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature and identify what you believe are three primary events that occurred and explain why you believe they had a significant impact on the period. The three primary event is: a. In 1919 W.E.B. Dubois organized first Pan American Congress in Paris. b. In 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. c. In 1923 – 33 the Harlem Renaissance The three events had a significant impact because women could not vote in the election as men could and vote their opinions on who they want as President. The Harlem Renaissance was a rebirth and express of African American culture as...

Words: 635 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A Review of How the Works in the Oral Tradition Reflect Key Social, Political, Economic and Artistic Aims of the Harlem Renaissance.

...(Rowen and Brunner). It was the African-American boom of cultural expression that peaked in the 1920s. Though it was centred in the Harlem neighbourhood of New York, many French-speaking black writers from African and Caribbean colonies that lived in Pairs were also influenced by the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a celebration of African-American heritage expressed through an outpouring of art, literature, music and dance. It was also described as a “spiritual coming of age” in which the black community was able to seize upon its “first chances for group expression and self determination.” (Rowen and Brunner). With racism still rampant and economic opportunities scarce, creative expression was one of the few avenues available to African-Americans in the early twentieth century. The timing of the coming of age was perfect. The years between World War I and the Great Depression were boom times for the United States, and jobs were plentiful. The Harlem Renaissance was helped along by intellectuals and the expansion of urban cultures. Artistic expression and articulated appreciation of African-American culture helped to get white Americans to take notice of the talents of black Americans for the first time. The Harlem Renaissance succeeded in destroying some racist stereotypes through brilliant works in song, dance, paint and print. For the first time, white-owned publishing houses published books by black authors. Some white Americans helped to promote the literary...

Words: 1372 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Langston Hughes

...Phillip Woods Sandra Simonds ENG102 April 26 2016 Langston Hughes and The Weary Blues Langston Hughes was recognized as a significant literary figure during the 1920s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers. After graduating from high school, Hughes went to Mexico to visit his father, in hopes to convince his father that he should pay for his college education at Columbia University in New York City. On his way to Mexico on the train, while thinking about his past and his future, Hughes wrote the famous poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." After arriving in Mexico, the tension between Hughes and his father was strong. Hughes wanted to be a writer; his father wanted him to be an engineer. After Hughes sent some of his poetry to what was known as the “Brownies” Book and “Crisis” magazines, it was accepted. his father was impressed enough to agree to pay for a year at Columbia University. It was there at Columbia University were he begin releasing more poems that he had written. Hughes embraced crafting blues music into his poetry because it expressed the worries of the common man in a simple and direct manner. Blues songs feature heavy repetition, and singers often seem to be laughing and crying at the same time. One of his best works was the poem “The Weary Blues” which came in first place in a section of a literary contest in an Opportunity magazine published in 1925...

Words: 1157 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Zora Neale Hurston Research Paper of John and Lucy Ann Hurston; she was one of their eight children. Hurston and her family were originally from Notasulga, Alabama. However, they moved to Florida, when she was just a toddler and Hurston, had little, if no memory, of Notasulga. Many of her writings, reflect the culture and happenings of Eatonville, Florida. Hurston, was anything but a usual African-American woman. She defied numerous odds against her, to complete college, travel past the borders of her home town, and become something more than a poor housewife. Despite all difficulties, Hurston received her associate degree from Howard University, in the year of 1920. A few years later, she would begin working on her bachelors, at Barnard College, were she studied anthropology....

Words: 1082 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dark Skinned Blacks Research Paper

...the American slavery era; this division has fueled African-American cultural movements, societal achievements, and economic systems. Light skinned blacks have undoubtedly maintained the hypothetical lead, receiving the upper hand in American slavery and the post Reconstruction era. However, dark skinned blacks made slight gains from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. In order to further assert white dominance, slaveholders annihilated African ethnic identities. Slaves were instead classified them as tools to be used by whites in any way whites saw fit. Consequently, racial miscegenation between Caucasians and African slaves became a common component of slave culture. In order to obstruct...

Words: 947 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Blues - Traditions and Inspirations

...Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States around the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll is characterized by specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues chord progression is the most common. The blue notes that, for expressive purposes are sung or played flattened or gradually bent (minor 3rd to major 3rd) in relation to the pitch of the major scale, are also an important part of the sound. The origin of the term of was most likely derived from mysticism involving blue indigo, which was used by many West African cultures in death and mourning ceremonies where all the mourner's garments would have been dyed blue to indicate suffering. Blues has evolved from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves imported from West Africa and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States. The musical forms and styles that are now considered the "blues" as well as modern "country music" arose in the same regions during the 19th century in the southern United States. Recorded blues and country can be found from as far back as the 1920s, when the popular record industry developed and created marketing categories called "race...

Words: 2634 - Pages: 11