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Going to the PalaisA Social And Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918–1960$
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James Nott

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605194.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 March 2021

Race and the Dance Hall

Race and the Dance Hall

(p.246) Chapter 9 Race and the Dance Hall
Going to the Palais

James Nott

Oxford University Press

Race was an issue intimately related to dancing and caused considerable debate, considered in Chapter 9. Although the bulk of non-white migration to Britain came after 1960, race was already an issue in the history of dance halls. Much dance music was black in origin, creating both positive and negative responses. This chapter explores developing race relations in the period before mass immigration and multiculturalism. The associations of dancing with jazz music in the 1920s and the racist reaction to it are examined. Labelled as primitive, the origins of many racist stereotypes can be found in British responses to new social dances. Wartime tensions between white and black GIs present in Britain and the public’s reaction to this conflict are discussed. In the post-war period, West Indian immigration in the 1950s and colour bars in dance halls are explored. Anti-semitism and anti-Americanism (partially a response to alleged Americanization) also feature.

Keywords:   primitive, multiculturalism, mass immigration, Americanization, GI, Anti-American, colour bar

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