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The Power of Black MusicInterpreting its History from Africa to the United States$
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Samuel A. Floyd

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195109757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109757.001.0001

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The Negro Renaissance: Harlem and Chicago Flowerings

The Negro Renaissance: Harlem and Chicago Flowerings

(p.100) Chapter 5 The Negro Renaissance: Harlem and Chicago Flowerings
The Power of Black Music

Samuel A. Floyd

Oxford University Press

The flowerings of the Negro Renaissance in Harlem (1917–1935) and Chicago (1935–1950) were initiated by Pan Africanism, which speculates that black people share an origin and a heritage, that the welfare of black people is inevitably linked, and that the cultural products of blacks should convey their particular fundamental beliefs. The “extended forms” that Renaissance leaders wanted to see were produced by Duke Ellington. However, the New Negroes may not have perceived these events as significant to their goals, since Ellington's works did not meet their social requirements: Renaissance leaders' use of the term “symphonic” (meaning “orchestra”) was stimulated by the politics of “racial elevation,” and of the noble aspirations of Alain Locke and other intellectuals.

Keywords:   Negro Renaissance, Pan Africanism, Harlem, Duke Ellington

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