Jazz in Black and White

miles and bill

This page will serve as an exploration of the racial epistemologies associated with jazz. I will not offer a position on the implications of race, but simply try to engage the reader on why they matter. For example, at the heart of the discourse lies a complex question: is jazz black music?

In his article, “Jazz and the White Critic,” the late Amiri Baraka contends: [Black] People made bebop. The question the critic must ask is: why? But it is just this why of Negro music that has been consistently ignored or misunderstood; and it is a question that cannot be adequately answered without first understanding the necessity of asking it.

So, why is it necessary to ask the question, “is jazz black music?”

Future posts will include statements by musicians, writers, scholars, and critics, whereby  we, as a community, may explore this intriguing query.

Your comments are welcome.