Jazz has had a profound impact on American society, especially during the 1920's. Although the actual introduction date of jazz is unknown, the development of what we know as jazz today started as early as the early 1800's in the large plantations of the South (AAJ). With the Harlem Renaissance, the splurge of speakeasies, and the vast amount of other societal inventions popping up all across America, it was inevitable that jazz make its make its mark in the world during the social and economic tumult after World War I known as the "Roaring 20's". "Black classical music", "Negro music", or whichever term you would like to use, has played a fundamental role in the development of American life. Over the course of my research, I hope to see how jazz affected the social climate of America during the period of time after the First World War. .
When people think of jazz, they usually associate it with the likes of Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and Jelly Roll Morton. Even though African Americans were crucial to the spread and innovation of jazz, whites were the dominant figures in the actual populization of the form. Groups such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, which mainly consisted of white musicians, would establish a firm standing in jazz history before any of the great African American jazz musicians were able to be publicized. White jazz groups were also the first to make recordings, which helped boost their popularity among jazz listeners (Feinstein 15-16). With the growing interest in jazz, many whites wanted to explore the phenomenon of the "Black Mystique". As this example from Jazz in Black and White by Charley Gerard states, white people flocked to the jazz clubs and venues to experience the jazz sensation:.
After studying medicine in Washington, D.C., for five years, the radiologist and novelist Rudolf Fisher returned to his home in Harlem. Going to his favorite cabaret, he had the odd experience of being one of the few African Americans in a crowd of whites where formerly he had rarely seen any whites at all.