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MLK Day


“The fault lines of racial caste that ran deep through America of the pre-Civil Rights era divided the music world into two distinct and unequal spheres. In all but the most extraordinary circumstances or the most informal settings, black musicians performed only with blacks and inevitably suffered the social and economic stigma of segregation. Even the Musician’s Union, supposedly representing the interests of all musicians as workers, maintained separate “colored” locals in every city (with the notable exception of New York and Detroit). Mass-market capitalism in theory rewarded anyone who struck a responsive chord with the public. In reality, patterns of discrimination systematically denied black artists the opportunity to compete fairy for those rewards.”

Scott DeVeaux, The Birth of BeBop, 1997 The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History (Roth Family Foundation Music in America Book)

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