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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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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 08 March 2021



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

(p.3) Introduction
Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942

Christopher Wilkinson

University Press of Mississippi

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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