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Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942$
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Christopher Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031687

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031687.001.0001

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Page of
date: 22 October 2018

Introduction

Introduction

Coal, Railroads, and the Establishment of African American Life in West Virginia

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction
Source:
Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942
Author(s):

Christopher Wilkinson

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617031687.003.0001

This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the history of big band jazz in West Virginia during the 1930s and early 1940s. The book investigates what brought African Americans to the Mountain State, why they stayed, and how they became part of the national audience for big band jazz. It suggests that the principal reason for the popularity of big band jazz and dance music among African American Mountaineers was that they served as a source of racial identity and pride, and that the music of black dance orchestras was a marker of race, more particularly of racial pride and achievement.

Keywords:   big band jazz, West Virginia, African Americans, racial identity, pride, black dance orchestras, racial pride

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