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Segregation during the swing era
Swing ensembles were mainly segregated
- The biggest night club in New York.
- Open to all races, though predominantly African-American.
- Cutting contests were usually segregated.
- Goodman was the first to stage interracial Jazz performances.
- He did so by billing his African-American performers as "special guests"
Jazz at Carnegie Hall in 1938
- Benny Goodman's band performed there.
- Audience primarily white and snobbish.
- Hammond fostered the careers of many African-Americans
- Promoted interracial ensembles
- African-Americans spent a lot of time touring because, they weren't always welcomed with open arms so they had to move quickly.
- African-American touring bands had to find black diners, black hotels, etc. while in the South. They often slept in buses and were always scrounging for food. Southerners black and white treated them unkindly.
Ellington spoke out against racial segregation. He did so with statements as well as by work titles/topics.
World War II
- African-Americans were relegated until the Battle of Bulge.
- Troops were temporarily integrated for the Battle of Bulge.
- Africans-Americans were given more job opportunities back at home.
- African-American that fought for freedom didn't get it at home, the ones at home had better jobs but segregation was still prevalent, this brought on civil rights thinking.
- Competition becomes stiffer with the decent of swing and the rise of Bebop.
- African-Americans became targets of racial violence due to the styles association with racial politics.
- The musical characteristics aim at a return to authentic African-American musical expression through the encouragement of improvising virtuoso, a tradition of African-American jazz not white jazz.