Musicians and the segregated city : Chicago in the early 1900s-1930s -- From south to south side : musicians in 1940s Chicago -- Redefining the music industry : independent music in Chicago, 1948-1953 -- From south side to the south and the nation, 1954-1963 -- "The fact remains ... we are negroes" : dissonance and the desegregation of Chicago's musicians' union, 1963-1967.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 187-198) and index.
Amy Absher's The Black Musician and the White City tells the story of African American musicians in Chicago during the mid-twentieth century. While depicting the segregated city before World War II, Absher traces the migration of black musicians, both men and women and both classical and vernacular performers, from the American South to Chicago during the 1930s to 1950s. Absher takes the history beyond the study of jazz and blues by examining the significant role that classically trained black musicians played in building the Chicago South Side community. By acknowledging the presence and importance of classical musicians, Absher argues that black migrants in Chicago had diverse education and economic backgrounds but found common cause in the city's music community.