History Now 48 (Summer 2017)

Jazz, the Blues, and American Identity

From the Editor

Our Summer 2017 issue looks at the two great musical traditions that come out of the African American culture of the South: jazz and the blues. These uniquely American genres are known throughout the world and, although they began within the black communities of our country, they have come to belong to people of all races and regions. They are part of the American identity. These two musical forms have been creatively interwoven and reimagined, and they are at the root of the best of rock and roll, hip hop, and rap. American writers like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Albert Murray and musicians like Charles Mingus and Gregg Allman have recognized the importance of these musical traditions in shaping our national identity, and historians know that the history of jazz and the blues provides a critical window into our collective past.More »