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Negrophilia in the United States’ History: Avant-Garde Musicians and Bohemians for Blacks Culture Essay

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Updated: Aug 23rd, 2020

Negrophilia is a French word that literally means love for Negros. This word was commonly used by avant-garde musicians and bohemians themselves expressing their enthusiasm for blacks culture. It was simple to embrace African art, listening to black Americans music and dancing with blacks seemed to be fashionable and modern and it spread widely and extremely fast. Just as it is nowadays, where people usually listen to African music songs, such as reggae, gang star lap, and hip hop, Afro hairstyle proliferate and lock. In 1920s, people wore black Americans clothes, danced music, such as Charleston, the black bottom, and the Lind hop. Jazz music especially influenced all age groups of the community. A musician like Louis Armstrong, King Olive, and Duke Ellington were very famous in the music world. More importantly, they embraced the African ways of their daily work; hence, their living style soon influenced the bigger crowd. This enhanced social integrations and improved interactions whereby even whites could marry the blacks.

Due to the emergency of First World War, many blacks crossed borders to cities of Europe in search for jobs, social connections and improved living standards. This led to immense cultural appropriation, citing an example from Paris, where artistic conditions were extremely sensitive. Avant–garde artists collaborated with black personalities, such as Henry Crowder, Josephine Baker and Langston.

On the other hand, passion for Negros spread through America and in late 1920s, there was a transformation of black white culture. According to Chew (300), the blacks took up some jobs such as photography, painting, journalism, music, dancing, furniture design and sculpture modeling; all these expressing how blacks were adapted and populised by white artists. This brought a new way of earning for living and could be viewed as way of economic development. With such kind of cultural redefinition, the blacks embraced some of white political structure, social practices, and economic activities by class, gender and ethnicity. In consideration, if this was taken positively, both parties would have promoted peace and cohesion and on the negative side it would have led to conflict.

Consequently, there was an emergency of asymmetrical economic distribution due to political race consciousness. In fact, some kind of fear came up and this persists up to now. The blacks emigrants contributed to the economic depression, especially health wise and through many other factors. This was as a result of the blacks understanding the value of their art. The whites started reconsidering how the imigrants benefited from their countries. This led the blacks to remember their origin and they were to be perceived as assimilated blacks with uneven distribution of basic commodities and services, where they were to persevere in their daily life. This, then, can be said is resulted in negrophobia, which has left blacks as objects of self pity and derision.

Negrophilia promoted a kind of serious aspect of views between white and black American, which has impacted up to date. According to Wilson (151), there has been a kind of race politics and policies differences, but which is slowly declining and promoting healthier perceptions among both parties. Negrophilia was both beneficial and of great importance to both Europe and the world.

Works Cited

Chew, William. National Stereotypes in Perspective: Americans in France, Frenchmen in America Atlanta. Atlanta: Rodopi, 2001.Print.

Wilson, Elizabeth. Bohemians. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Negrophilia in the United States’ History: Avant-Garde Musicians and Bohemians for Blacks Culture." August 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/negrophilia-in-the-united-states-history/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Negrophilia in the United States’ History: Avant-Garde Musicians and Bohemians for Blacks Culture." August 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/negrophilia-in-the-united-states-history/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Negrophilia in the United States’ History: Avant-Garde Musicians and Bohemians for Blacks Culture'. 23 August.

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