There have been a number of outstanding studies that articulate the importance of black music for “Afro-modernist” literary production since Paul Gilroy’s seminal The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993). Through inquiry into influential Marxist, Black Atlantic, and African diasporic studies of jazz literature and jazz history, the introduction explains how Jazz Internationalism is distinguished by its historical scope and attention to multiple genres of jazz literature. This introduction outlines not only a history of Afro-modernist jazz literature that corresponds with the Long Civil Rights Movement, it also underscores the intertextuality of jazz literature as it evolves through several generations of black music and writing. While the primary purpose of Jazz Internationalism is not one of recovering obscure writers or texts, it does make the case for a more expansive understanding of jazz writing for both African American literary history and African diasporic studies more generally.
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