Civil Rights-Jazz document, 1963

Prior to tomorrow's inauguration, the New York Times (and I suspect many other publications) has focused in many columns, book reviews and reports on Barack Obama's election as a turning point in the U.S.'s movement towards full civil rights for all people. The entertainment section makes the case for movies having led the way to our first not-completely- "white"-identified President. I maintain that the jazz community was in the forefront of the civil rights movement, and remains in the lead for demonstrating how all-inclusive meritocracies … [Read more...]

Armstrong to Ellington to Obama

If anyone needs a primer on how jazz leads directly to the inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th president of the U.S., see Nat Hentoff's Wall Street Journal article on the history of musicians, audiences, presenters and producers of all "colors" in the struggle for Civil Rights. The march from Buddy Bolden playing in New Orleans' "back 'o' town" to a man of diverse ancestry leading the free world from the White House has been direct (if not necessarily "straight") and determined. … [Read more...]