Aired: April 9, 2011

Jazz and Civil Rights

Antonio Garcia (Virginia Commonwealth University) says that the personal and professional lives of musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane cannot be divorced from the struggle for racial equality—they contributed in significant ways to interracial understanding and social progress.  Also featured: The composers of the Civil Rights anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” also created musical theater at the turn of the century, transforming the image of African American characters and performers. Paula Marie Seniors (Virginia Tech) looks at the lives of the composers Bob Cole, J. Rosamond Johnson, and James Weldon Johnson, whose work helped break down stereotypical portrayals of black Americans.


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