Jazz & Civil Rights Brief Essay

Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman were not just outstanding jazz musicians and pioneers of jazz in a way, but also they were civil rights activists, even though their position and their contribution to the Civil Rights movement were not always obvious.  Nevertheless, they have contributed to the Civil Rights movement through their music, songs and deeds beyond the stage and show business.

In this regard, Armstrong played a particularly significant part because he was one of the most influential jazz musicians of his time and he was the outstanding public person, celebrity, who had influence on the US society. Some of his songs, like Black and Blue, revealed his African American background and its impact on his inferior position in the US society. However, being a public figure, “Armstrong became a cultural ambassador for the U.S. during the cold war, performing jazz all over the world” (Teichroew 1). This was probably his major contribution to the Civil Rights movement because he showed that he, being African American, can represent the entire nation worldwide.

Benny Goodman manifested how desegregation should practically occur in America by including African American musicians in his band. This inclusion of African Americans “helped push for racial integration in jazz, which was previously not only taboo, but even illegal in some states” (Teichroew 2). In fact, he showed the way, which America followed after the rise of the Civil Rights movement, when desegregation became a norm. Unlike other musicians and civil rights activists, who talked a lot about equality and desegregation, Goodman acted and his proactive position distinguishes him from other musicians contributing to the Civil Rights movement.

Thus, Armstrong and Goodman became the major jazz musicians, who contributed to the rise and success of the Civil Rights movement in the US.

 

Works Cited:

Teichroew, J.   Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement – How Jazz Musicians Spoke Out for Racial Equality.

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]