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The Great Gatsby

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African Americans in the Jazz Age

GATSBY-VGGFNN

The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age. During this time African American musicians popularized a new kind of music called jazz. In cities such as New York and Chicago, African Americans enjoyed improved living conditions and were able to move into the middle and upper classes.

Which quote from the novel best supports this new mobility of African Americans in this time period?

A

“A celebrated tenor had sung in Italian and a notorious contralto had sung in jazz and between the numbers people were doing "stunts" all over the garden, while happy vacuous bursts of laughter rose toward the summer sky.”

B

“A pale, well-dressed Negro stepped near. ‘It was a yellow car," he said, ‘big yellow car. New.’ ‘See the accident?’ asked the policeman. ‘No, but the car passed me down the road, going faster'n forty. Going fifty, sixty.’”

C

“ As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes…”

D

“There was dancing now on the canvas in the garden, old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles, superior couples holding each other tortuously, fashionably and keeping in the corners--and a great number of single girls dancing individualistically or relieving the orchestra for a moment of the burden of the banjo or the traps.”

E

"’I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. ‘These people! You have to keep after them all the time.’"