Rock And Roll's Role In Challenging Racial Boundaries In The 1950s

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Did Rock 'n' Roll play a significant role in challenging racial boundaries in the 1950s? How or why not? In the 1950s, Rock ’n’ Roll was able to do what jazz could not when it created a prevailing culture amongst white and black teenagers. It was made possible by the widespread use of radios along with the dispersion and availability of records. The common culture of Rock ’n’ Roll helped to wear away racial boundaries and long-standing prejudices felt towards African Americans. The shift towards television as an entertainment medium of choice for white adults pushed executives to reorient radio towards young people’s music (Altschuler 14). Businessmen and producers found a valuable niche to take advantage of. Both black and white teenagers responded enthusiastically to the new energetic sound. Color barriers that had existed on the radio were broken down by airplay. The embrace of Rock ‘n’ Roll agitated race relations with a mix of country, …show more content…

As a result, they experienced more freedom and independence. Teens began to separate themselves from social and behavior norms. White teenagers frequented the same neighborhoods as black teenagers to purchase records of or listen to various Rock ‘n’ Roll artists. American teenagers across the country flocked to support their favorite artists heard on their local radio stations. Racial stereotypes began to break down as “mixed audiences,” conversed with each other while waiting in line to get into concerts (Altschuler 48). The popularity of Rock ‘n’ Roll led to both black and white artists performing together. The music linked universal values with racial tolerance and integration (Altschuler 48). Rock ’n’ Roll became a profitable industry that challenged the value system and social teachings of the time. The industry was instrumental in bringing an increased level of respect to African

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