Sunday, December 19, 2010

Research Note: Jazz, Radio, and Modernism

"The first [radio] show produced by and announced by African Americans did not debut until 1928 with WSBC's The Negro Hour, produced by Jack L. Cooper of the Chicago Defender. This foray into broadcasting coincided with the decline of independent stations and the loss of local control over much radio programming due to the Radio Act of 1927. As a result, both the network expansion of radio to national markets and the nationalization of the industry under the auspices of the Federal Radio Commission solidified the marginal and stereotypical portrayal of African Americans on the radio. In this sense, radio as a modernizing force did not bring new ideas about race to the public but, rather, made traditional prejudices and stereotypes available to more people. It was a modern invention used for traditional ends."

Charles J. Shindo. 1927 and the Rise of Modern America, page 184.

Click here to listen to an interview with Charles Shindo.

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