Rock and Roll

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The emergence of Rock and Roll was one of the most pivotal moments of our nation’s history. The impact that this genre of music made is still evident in our culture. However, before this genre was able to gain momentum, it faced many cultural conflicts. The book, All Shook Up: How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America by Glenn C. Altschuler analyzes the impact that rock and roll music has made on American culture. It explores how the Rock and Roll culture was able to roughly integrate and later conflict with preceding cultural values. This is especially apparent in chapters regarding race and sexuality. Overall, Rock and Roll was extremely controversial amongst parents and educators. This new music genre was condemned by the previous generation as noise and a threat to established cultural norms. However, this genre of music was able to challenge racial barriers, teen sexuality, and family values.

The issue of race was one of the reasons for the rejection of early Rock and Roll. In addition, the birth of the Civil Right movement coincided with the explosion of this genre. It was a moment where Black people were beginning to identify and assert themselves racially (Altschuler 36). With various Supreme Court judgments (Brown v. Board of Education) ruling in favor of integration, segregationist whites viewed Rock and Roll as a symbol of Black empowerment and progression through the social hierarchy. As a result, the KKK and other white supremacist organizations began to openly preach exaggerated consequences of listening to this newly created “jungle music” (37). They feared that listening to it would cause the white youth to lose their sense of humanity and dignity. Therefore, the resistance to this genre, which was highly enjoyed by whi...

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In conclusion, the emergence of Rock and Roll was one of the most pivotal moments of our nation’s history. It challenged various racial barriers that existed during the 1950’s. With the ever increasing popularity of this genre, white supremacists feared the rise of black influence in the dominant white society. Also, the emergence of the Civil Rights movement fueled the expansion in the popularity of Rock and Roll among teenagers across the nation. This evoked protests from the parents of young teenagers who exhibited over sexualized mannerisms as a result of this genre. Furthermore, popular culture played an important role during the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Cold War. It allowed society to escape the hardships of war and uncertainty while safeguarding the democratic freedom our nation was built upon.
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