This chapter focuses on the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. President Roosevelt received the royals at a state dinner; before approximately three hundred guests, he joined the king in a pledge to “walk together along the path of friendship in a world of peace.” Along with proclamations of international cooperation, the evening also included performances that featured what the White House considered “authentic” representations of American music. The central focus, however, was on African Americans. In evaluating the origins of American music, the program notes for the evening stated, “above all, the negro has made the most distinctive contribution.”
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