Jazz Is a Music of Perseverance Against Racism and Capitalism

Buck Clayton plays the trumpet in a black and white photo

Buck Clayton performs during a concert on January 1, 1960.



The story of the birth and development of “one of the few art forms developed in North America and done so primarily by African Americans” — including the struggles of its practitioners to survive the brutality of Jim Crow, mobsters and ruthless exploitation by the music industry — is told in Gerald Horne’s new book, Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music. In this excerpt, Horne discusses the origins of jazz and its musicians’ resistance to embracing a singular definition — if any — of the music.

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