Sept. 28 – Miles Davis dies

GabeAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Sept. 28, 1991, jazz icon Miles Davis passed away in California at the age of 65.

Miles Davis is considered one of the best jazz musicians of all time. From the 1940s to the 1980s, it can be argued that no one left a greater mark on music.

Not only was Davis’s music widely popular, but its appeal to whites and black alike certainly played a role in launching the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The jazz music championed by Miles Davis, and others like Louis Armstrong, brought people together. But even the musicians themselves were a part of the movement. Their pieces, which relied heavily on individual expression, voiced support for the equality movement.

Davis was instrumental in rejecting white expectations for black music, in turn inspiring people to challenge authority and encouraged people to stand up for civil rights.

Davis also was one of the earliest musicians to adopt a new and popular style of music known as bebop.

  1. What impact did music have on the civil rights movement? What made jazz so relatable to oppressed African-Americans?
  2. How did jazz help to end segregation in the 1950s and 1960s?
  3. Does music still have the impact on activist movements that it once did? If you think it does not, could it?

Image Citation:

20, Sept. 2018, Miles Davis [Digital photograph].  Retrieved from <>.