Born in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz made its way onto the scene. With African-Americans at the helm, the red-light district housed this new genre of music and talented artists during what is now known as a monumental moment in American history.
Blending various styles, musicians like Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith found their star rising. But as the genre grew, many obstacles came along with it. Controversy around the genre led to the military shutting down the creative hub for good in 1917.
In this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Farah Griffin of Columbia University, we unpack a genre created by African-Americans that, despite the controversy, still found a way to thrive on the international scene.
Archival Materials Courtesy of:
Everett Collection, Inc.
Library of Congress
National Archives and Records Administration
The New York Public Library
Additional Archival by:
Hello Dolly performed by Louis Armstrong
The New York Times
Tiger Rag performed by Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Robert F. Smith
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.
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