How did the movement of African Americans to northern cities affect the development of jazz? What impact did radio and recording have on the development of jazz? How would jazz music have been different without these events?
Why did New York and Chicago become centers of jazz after New Orleans? What qualities or characteristics did these cities have that might have influenced the growth of jazz?
Is the best music also the most popular music? How does music become popular? Do the media make music popular, or do consumers choose what is popular? Jazz music, before and during World War II, was the most popular music in the country. Discuss how social, political, and technological trends helped make jazz popular.
Review the comments by Ellison and Whiteman in the essay. Is it important to make “a lady out of jazz” (see page 15) or that jazz be compared with classical music (see page 16)? What does the essayist mean by “high and low art”?
Research the development of Harlem as a cultural and artistic center for African Americans. Learn about (1) the Harlem Renaissance and its significant writers and artists; (2) the locations and roles of jazz venues such as the Savoy Ballroom and the Cotton Club; (3) political and religious leaders and movements that were centered in Harlem.