Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Introduction

Introduction Throughout America in the 1920s, debate raged regarding whether jazz could have degenerative effects on the human psyche. While some whites perceived jazz to be a neoteric, exotic, and erotic thing to be daringly experienced, others were convinced that this music of an allegedly inferior race had intoxicating power that could en­ snare them, causing such animalistic flagrancies as sexual promis­ cuity and interracial mixing. One writer commented in the late 1920s: "It is regrettable that a type of 'music' which is so popular as Jazz should exercise an evil influence, but such is the occult truth. Jazz has been definitely 'put through' by the Black Brotherhood, known in Christian tradition as the Powers of Evil or Darkness, and put through with the intention of inflaming the sexual nature and so diverting mankind from spiritual progress." Whites were not the only ones trying to censor jazz musicians, who, as one group of white music teachers claimed in a lawsuit, play their music "in a too seductive manner." Nora Douglas Holt, in the weekly music column she wrote for The Chicago Defender in the 1920s, "News of the Music World," sided with negative opinions. She described jazz as "America's enfant http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/introduction-lXhpw5stGH
Copyright
Copyright © 1992 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-6.1.143
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Throughout America in the 1920s, debate raged regarding whether jazz could have degenerative effects on the human psyche. While some whites perceived jazz to be a neoteric, exotic, and erotic thing to be daringly experienced, others were convinced that this music of an allegedly inferior race had intoxicating power that could en­ snare them, causing such animalistic flagrancies as sexual promis­ cuity and interracial mixing. One writer commented in the late 1920s: "It is regrettable that a type of 'music' which is so popular as Jazz should exercise an evil influence, but such is the occult truth. Jazz has been definitely 'put through' by the Black Brotherhood, known in Christian tradition as the Powers of Evil or Darkness, and put through with the intention of inflaming the sexual nature and so diverting mankind from spiritual progress." Whites were not the only ones trying to censor jazz musicians, who, as one group of white music teachers claimed in a lawsuit, play their music "in a too seductive manner." Nora Douglas Holt, in the weekly music column she wrote for The Chicago Defender in the 1920s, "News of the Music World," sided with negative opinions. She described jazz as "America's enfant

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1992

There are no references for this article.