The Influence of Film and Radio on the American People in the 30's

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By the end of the 1920s, almost every household owned a radio. Radios were one of the many new particular consumer goods being purchased in the modern era. The first commercial radio station also hit the air in the 1920s. The lifestyle in terms of leisure had shifted dramatically from the Victorian era. Victorianism defined worthy uses of leisure. It was seen that play should be purposeful and edifying, not merely for amusement. For the people in the 20s, it was more acceptable for it to be just about fun. Jazz struck a resonant chord with many Americans in the 20s. Jazz is a symbol of break from the Victorian past and spoke to even deeper yearning for freedom among blacks. It mirrored frenetic pace and unpredictability of modern life (Lisa Jacobson, Lecture). Jazz was heard at nightclubs/speakeasies and it defied rules. It was a revolt against Victorianism and it was a refreshing alternative to culturally uplifting music. People were optimistic about starting new lives and it expressed new optimism about future, new black assertiveness, and yearnings for unrestrained freedom (Lisa Jacobson, Lecture). People enthusiastically embraced jazz but some felt troubled by it because of sexual morale. The middle class thought it as vulgar and connected it to loose morals. A jazz party could help those who couldn’t afford to pay rent by having a “rent party” where an admission fee would be charged. This helped with those who could barley afford living in the city. Gangster films

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