Jazz and Social Change - Ryan McGinnis 4/29/2008 Reflection...

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Ryan McGinnis 4/29/2008 Reflection Essay #3 Jazz and Social Change As the idea of the modern metropolis and industrialization began to spread from New York City to all major cities in America, the social climate of America began to change. All members of social rank and classes in society collided from the rural America into the city with the urban sprawl. Along with these social changes and roles came an era of Jazz music. Jazz brought about social change because it was something which all classes of society were able to enjoy at the time, and helped paved the way for creating a cohesive bond between races and social classes. The word Jazz, at the time it was born, was used to refer to popular music in general during the early 20 th century. Jazz was seen at the time to be a form of music which was traditionally reserved to African-Americans. However, as seen in Mezz Mezzrow’s novel, Really the Blues , Jazz was not confined only to African-Americans. Mezzrow, who was a white-Jewish man, was able to become a part of the Jazz movement and was able to embody and present the characteristics of a Jazz lifestyle which we envision today. Not only was he able to rid the stigmatization of Jazz music being wholly dominated by African-Americans, but he was able to present Jazz as an entire social movement both in music and in language within society. Mezzrow’s novel brought the ideas of change in society coming from the lower-classes as the usage of jive-lingo and Jazz music has become more integrated into modern society. In the novel, Mezzrow gives us a hefty dose of jive, where many of the slang words of the Jazz era have developed into mainstream society. Such words and slang terminologies that are used by
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Jazz and Social Change - Ryan McGinnis 4/29/2008 Reflection...

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