1930s American Culture
AMST 300-50 10672
August 3, 2014
Strides in American Culture During the 1930s and Today
The amount of racial inequality that took place in the 1930s is often overlooked with all of the strides that African Americans made in music, dance, and sports during the early 20th century in America. In Jump for Joy, Gena Caponi-Cabery documents these achievements from the 1930s and onward, and how they shaped American society today.
Joe Louis is an example of one of the greatest athletes during that time, as well as an example of a remarkable black achiever in sports in a racist society. Joe was a heavyweight champion as well as one of the first black athletes to gain support from the white community. According to Caponi-Cabery, …show more content…
Introduced in Harlem, New York, the Lindy Hop progressed with the jazz music during throughout the early 1900s. The Lindy Hop is described by Caponi-Cabery as an improvisation when partners briefly broke away from each other to improvise solo steps, or rather “after the fundamental steps of the dance have been published, the performers may consider themselves at liberty to improvise, embroidering the traditional measures with startling variations” (51). Although this form of dance was considered a couples’ dance, the importance of the dance was rather focused on the moments that the partners were dancing apart, which was considered revolutionary in mainstream America during the time. It is often too easy to forget or even be aware of the original trailblazers of modern dance. During its introduction, professional dance instructors frowned upon the Lindy Hop, but recreational dancers and other critics embraced it. The once “black dance” began transmitting to “white dancers” (63). It was the Lindy Hop that changed the dancing and music scene from that point on, becoming much more uninhibited and unconventional to a more “high-flying, high-jumping dance” (58). Now, almost a century later, variations of the Lindy Hop remain alive, and continue to evolve to this day. The Lindy Hop was …show more content…
With the conclusion of the World Cup less than a month ago, international football, or better known as soccer as it’s widely regarded in the states, seems to be an appropriate contemporary American sports phenomenon relevant to American culture today. According to FIFA, more tickets for the World Cup were purchased by the United States than any other country, apart from the host nation Brazil. They in fact bought more tickets than the next three ticket-buying countries (Argentina, Germany, and England) combined. Although in the past it was believed that America would never embrace such a low-scoring game, soccer has entered the mainstream. The average MLS franchise has risen 175% in the past five years, up to $103 million according to Forbes magazine. Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, both players hailing from a foreign country, rank among the top ten most popular athletes for young Americans. This speaks a lot about how this sport is an example of integration of different nationalities into our society. Hispanics make up the largest demographic in the United States that love the game, and with the rising Hispanic population as well as trend of rising MLS fans, soccer fans will soon triple or quadruple in America. America’s demography is positively working in soccer’s favor. As parents keep their children away from American football due to the rising awareness of chronic