Jazz Olivia Tomlinson

Black Intellectualism & Jazz

During the 1920s, there was a boom in black artistry and intellectualism.  The Harlem Renaissance inspired black artists and thinkers to push the status quo.  During this time jazz was the popular genre of music.  Jazz was originally despised by the elite and bourgeoisie, as it was associated with interracial sex (because a lot of jazz clubs were open to anyone) and drugs.  This led to young black intellectuals being the main population to flock to jazz clubs where the performers were primarily black.  Writers like Langston Hughes and artists like Romare Bearden drew inspiration from attending jazz clubs. For the black elite and other writers of the Harlem Renaissance, it has been said that despite their ignorance of jazz, the success of black jazz musicians and their music inspired them as well. 

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