How Jazz Musicians were affected by Diversity and Race Issues in American Society in the 20th Century.

Choose one of the following jazz artists/groups from the list below to research the way(s) in which race and/or diversity played a role in their interactions with American society in the earlier part of the 20th century (1900s -1960s.) This could include employment issues – performance opportunities, equal treatment, touring issues hotels, travel options, etc.), criminal justice issues (cabaret cards, arrests, drug use-targeting of musicians and neighborhoods, etc.) and other social issues of the day. Learn how they responded (or were forced to respond) to these issues and how they involved themselves in issues of civil rights and race and diversity discrimination. Discuss how they used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues.

Louis Armstrong early 20th century stardom for a Black musician

Fletcher Henderson Black swing bands vs. White Swing Bands opportunities, acceptance, Black composers/arrangers and White Swing Bands

Benny Goodman segregation, Black and White musicians playing together

Billie Holiday female jazz performer, Strange Fruit, cabaret card, drug issues

John Coltrane Alabama, how he used his music to comment on Society

Cannonball and Nat Adderley Sextet raised awareness through their music Work Song, and other songs which were inspired by African American history and traditions. Active in Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.


Papers need to be written in a professional style. Basic standards for grammar, sentence structure, citations (if used), and other considerations for a Research Paper style assignment need to be observed. APA or MLA citation standards should be used.
In order to achieve the highest grade you need to include the following topics in your presentation.
A short description of the Artist or group and what issue(s) of discrimination based on race and/or diversity you are writing about.
How race and/or diversity affected their interaction with society during their historical period in America
What sort of responses (if any) the artist/group made to react to the racially/diversity-divided society found in America as jazz music grew along with the country.
How the artist/group used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues