jazz essay


The Diversity and Race Research and Writing Assignment is a component of the General Education Requirements for this course. The assignment is designed to raise awareness about issues involving Diversity and/or Race which are related to Jazz music and the artists lives, careers and interaction with society. This assignment also expects the student to develop collegiate level research and writing skills.



is found in the next Weekly Module. You will OPEN the assignment from the Module, and follow the instructions and submit your draft in the TurnitIn box IN the assignment. Read carefully, you have 3 submissions to allow you to fix any issues you may have with the Turnitin Similarity Report. (see below) Manage your time wisely, so

you have time

to submit your first version and have that paper returned from Turnitin ( this is not instantaneous, it can take a day) and rewrite the draft before turning the submission you want to be graded in by the due date.

Diversity and Race Assignment: How Jazz Musicians were affected by Diversity and Race Issues in American Society in the 20th Century.

Late submissions are not allowed

, so please turn in your draft and Final Paper BEFORE the due dates.

Draft is due by April 2

Drafts will be reviewed and returned with comments by April 11

Final Papers are due by April 19


Choose one

of the following jazz artists/groups from the list below to


the way(s) in which race and/or diversity played a role in their interactions with American society in the earlier part of the 20th century (1900’s -1960’s.) This could include

employment issues

– performance opportunities, equal treatment,

touring issues

– hotels, travel options, etc.),

criminal justice issues

(cabaret cards, arrests, drug use-targeting of musicians and neighborhoods, etc.) and other societal issues of the day. Learn how they responded (or were forced to respond) to these issues and how they involved themselves in issues of civil rights and race and diversity discrimination. Discuss how they used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues.

NOTE: – If you have an interest in choosing a different artist, you can email the instructors (through Canvas) to request permission to write about that artist. Be sure there is sufficient documentation of how their career was affected by these issues. BE SURE THAT YOU ASK WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE DRAFT DUE DATE SO YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO GET AN ANSWER AND TIME TO WRITE THE DRAFT.

List of Jazz Artists/Groups who were affected by issues of Diversity and/or Race and some of the issues they dealt with. The list of issues are JUST suggestions of a place to start your research, you need find much more material on the artist you choose.

Louis Armstrong

– early 20th century stardom for a Black musician

Fletcher Henderson

– Black swing bands vs. White Swing Bands – opportunities, acceptance, Black composers/arrangers and White Swing Bands

Benny Goodman

– segregation, Black and White musicians playing together

Billie Holiday

– female jazz performer, “Strange Fruit”, cabaret card, drug issues

John Coltrane

– “Alabama”, how he used his music to comment on Society

Cannonball and Nat Adderley Sextet

–raised awareness through their music – “Work Song”, and other songs which were inspired by African American history and traditions. Active in Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s.


Research Paper

Write a short (approximately 1000-1500 word paper) and submit. You will submit a draft for instructor review which will be read , graded, and commented on and returned to you before you submit the final paper. Both versions will use the


application. A well-edited, concise, clear and effective presentation is an important component of this assignment. Writing assistance is offered to USF students through the USF Writing Studio –


(Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site.


The TurnitIn tool reviews papers for copied materials, and issues a Similarity Report, which identifies the copied materials and the percentage of the paper that uses copied materials. You have 3 submissions for the Draft and Final paper to allow you to review this report and make any changes needed to be sure that any copied materials are cited properly or are used in quotations to support your paper before submitting your Draft and Final Paper. There should not be a large component of the paper that is copied, but some percentage is OK, as long as you are citing the materials and those materials support the points you are making in your paper.


  1. Papers need to be written in a professional style. Basic standards for grammar, sentence structure, citations (if used), and other considerations for a Research Paper style assignment need to be observed. APA or MLA citation standards should be used.
  2. In order to achieve the highest grade you need to include the following topics in your presentation.

    1. A short description of the Artist or group and what issue(s) of discrimination based on race and/or diversity you are writing about.
    2. How race and/or diversity affected their interaction with society during their historical period in America
    3. What sort of responses (if any) the artist/group made to react to the racially/diversity-divided society found in America as jazz music grew along with the country.
    4. How the artist/group used their music or status in the entertainment industry to address these issues
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