For two decades, cultural ties of music and the literary and expressive arts held together two black communities on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Black Broadway in black Paris drew almost exclusively on the music and entertainment talent of itinerant African Americans from Harlem and other Bronzevilles. Yet the Americans' popularity and success in Parisian nightclubs was also, in part, their failure. Stephen Mougin, the sometimes firebrand music critic and talented pianist, decried the shallow “Negrophilia” that fostered racial posturing over good music in the jazz nightclubs in Montmartre and Montparnasse between the wars. Under the banner of the Harlem Renaissance, Charles Johnson and Alain Locke rallied black Manhattan's musicians to the cause of economic, social, and cultural equality with white Americans, perceiving arts in general to be a crack in racism.
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