Start Date

19-5-2021 1:20 PM

End Date

19-5-2021 2:35 PM

Disciplines

History

Subjects

United States. Department of State. Cultural Presentations Program -- History -- 20th century, United States -- Foreign relations -- Communist countries -- History -- 20th century, Communist countries -- Foreign relations -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Jazz -- Political aspects -- History -- 20th century, Civil rights movement -- History -- 20th century

Description

As part of a Cold War propaganda campaign, the U.S. State Department sponsored the international tours of prominent American jazz musicians. Many Americans saw jazz as representative of uniquely American freedom, and so the music functioned perfectly as a Cold War propaganda weapon. At the same time, jazz was powerfully symbolic of freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. This paper explores the contradictions that arose between these two visions of freedom, and between the rhetoric and reality of U.S. Cold War policy. It first outlines the administrative history behind the program before highlighting six of the countless State Department jazz tours.

Notes

Winner of the Karen E. Hoppes Young Historians Award for Outstanding Research and Writing.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35810

Included in

History Commons

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May 19th, 1:20 PM May 19th, 2:35 PM

Session 1: Panel 3: Presenter 2 (Paper) -- Fighting For Freedom: Jazz and the Cold War

As part of a Cold War propaganda campaign, the U.S. State Department sponsored the international tours of prominent American jazz musicians. Many Americans saw jazz as representative of uniquely American freedom, and so the music functioned perfectly as a Cold War propaganda weapon. At the same time, jazz was powerfully symbolic of freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. This paper explores the contradictions that arose between these two visions of freedom, and between the rhetoric and reality of U.S. Cold War policy. It first outlines the administrative history behind the program before highlighting six of the countless State Department jazz tours.