The Big Sea: An Autobiography Themes

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The Black Renaissance

The 1920s were an exciting, vibrant time for black music. Jazz, blues and ragtime were breaking out of vaudeville and taking the world by storm. It was a lot of fun for everyone who had the energy to stay up all night, dancing, working, laughing, drinking, and playing the new music until dawn. Langston travels to two important centers of the so-called Black Renaissance. In Paris, the races are not so separate, and Langston works as a dishwasher and waiter in an important jazz club, Le Grand Duc. All of Paris's black musicians come there after working all evening in other clubs, and jam together until the sun comes up, and they all drink leftover champagne for breakfast. Langston describes one of the many performers, epitomizing the spirit of the new black music: "Miss [Gladys] Bentley was an amazing exhibition of musical energy—a large...

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This section contains 988 words
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Buy The Big Sea: An Autobiography Study Guide
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