Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music
456 pp, $27 pbk, ISBN 978-1-58367-785-8
Reviewed by John Woodford for Against the Current: A Socialist Journal, #204, January/February 2020
“Right up front, the prolific historian Gerald Horne of the University of Houston describes the contradiction that underlies this work:
(T)here are terribly destructive forces — racism, organized criminality, brutal labor exploitations, battery, debauchery, gambling — from which grew an intensely beautiful art form, today denoted as ‘jazz.’ It is the classic instance of the lovely lotus arising from the malevolent mud.
Since his book delves deeply into that mud, Horne says, he listened to the ‘pulchritudinous tunes of the musicians who continue to prevail against difficult odds’ so he could better ‘digest this malodorous substance as I was writing these pages.’ He advises his readers to do the same, and good advice it is, indeed….”
Read the review at Solidarity