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More than a musical genre, jazz in the 1920s was viewed by critics and supporters alike as a type of lifestyle, one that frequently led to drinking, dancing, and “petting.” Much to the horror of older generations, white young people were particularly drawn to jazz and its “hot rhythms.” Secondary school teachers and administrators took up the formidable task of persuading youth of jazz's morally corrupting influences. I argue that, in the first half of the decade, such educators instituted curricular and various informal policies designed to replace jazz, universally associated with black musicians, with more “wholesome” European-originated alternatives. By the latter part of the decade, however, most educators admitted a grudging acceptance of jazz's permanence and abandoned their efforts to convince students of its iniquity.
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