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The Product of Our SoulsRagtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace$
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David Gilbert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622699

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622699.001.0001

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From Ragtime Identities to the New Negro

(p.217) Epilogue
The Product of Our Souls

David Gilbert

University of North Carolina Press

This concluding chapter discusses the diminishing influence of ragtime at the onset of the 1920s and the rise of jazz music. Although necessary to the development of jazz and subsequent genres, ragtime music and the struggles of ragtime musicians continue to elude historians of music. Such an omission is regrettable, as ragtime has, after all, come to express a rejection of black slavery and caricatures, even as it shaped black modernity within a white supremacist world wholly insistent on black primitivism. The efforts of the ragtime musicians in debunking stereotypes and relentlessly pursuing the dream of cultural pluralism in America ultimately constructed another kind of racial divide, yet these black ragtimers had left in their place room for future generations to establish themselves within a changing cultural milieu.

Keywords:   1920s, jazz, ragtime, black slavery, black caricatures, black primitivism, black modernity, cultural pluralism

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