Jazz Music and The Great Migration of African-American Community
After the end of the First and the Second World War, the African-American community applied a number of changes. Initially, the community was based in the Southern part of America where they established agriculture and other forms of the rural establishment for survival. The end of the world wars came alongside with the community aiming to migrate to the Northern part of America to the centers such as Detroit, Chicago and New York. According to Bill Kirchner, during this period, there were changes in the way music was conducted in US and the globe in general. Blues and jazz vocalists became leaders in communicating the grievances of the African-American community.
The great migration of African-American community from the Southern part of America to the Northern part was contributed by a number of reasons. However, the main reason was that the northern part was believed to offer “great opportunities”. The Northern part offered individuals with the well-paying jobs hence improving individual’s economic status. Industrialization had taken the American offer with the most of the black Americans targeting to shift from agriculture to modern employment and self-employment. In addition, individuals from the community admired a different life since they were psychologically made to believe that they belong to the farm. Their destination of choice was the Northern region of US where they could live in urban centers and secure employment.
As stated by Joe Turner and White Keys, the movement of the African-American community had an impact to the jazz music. The music attained more listeners since members of the community enjoyed the music with artist airing their grievances through the art. However, the changes affected the audience of jazz music since they were influenced to adapt different cultures. At the same time, the music was prohibited inducing inconvenience to the audience. The movement promoted the economy of the country since the government could earn more revenues from the clubs where many people came to listen to the jazz music. In addition, the movement of members of the community to urban centers provided them with the secure good jobs hence improving the economy of the country. The urban life of African- American community affected its music both economically and artistically. Economically, the artists acquired more listeners hence acquiring more revenue. In addition, with many individuals in urban centers who liked their art, it was easy to acquire recording services. Artistically, many individuals entered into the field and used their talents to develop the music and air people’s interest.
There are a several factors that fortified the African-American community during that period. Some of the factors were unity among themselves, availability of employment and support from other movements. However, the community encountered many hardships and injustices during this period. The injustices include discrimination, being mistreated and physical assault such as rape to women. The hardships and the injustices led the community to becoming active and vocal. They expressed their desires through jazz and blues music. During this period, musicians made life through performing in nightclubs and other entertainment centers where they acquired tips and tokens. At the same time, they acquired money through appreciation by members of the community who felt that they were presenting their interests. Working musicians were charged with influencing and misleading members of the community that were against the law.
Blues singers brought a different perspective to the love song lyrics. Initially, blues’ songs were meant to express emotions and relationships. In the period, the artists changed the role and used the blues to air the community’s grievances. The artists become advocates and spokesmen’s of African-American community through composing songs that criticized discrimination and other forms of injustices. Since the artists were fighting for the rights of the community, they were filled as leaders and community representatives. Angela Davis felt that the issue of gender was prominent, but the singers underscored it during the period.
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In conclusion, during the period, artists used their talents to assist the African-American community air their grievances to the government and members of other communities. Music was influential and interesting. Therefore, it is utilized to communicate a message to many people within a short period. As seen in the period, apart from entertainment music is an important feature of communication.
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