Before moving to New York to work for the Voice, the most common expression of freedom for flappers was the expression of joy. While the Flapper Fads in New York of the 1920’s were largely due to new cultural and political factors, the term freedom was widely used by people of all social classes as well as by young women. As the 1920’s became what it remains today, the Flapper Fad declined in popularity and was a sign of economic hardship that many felt was due to women’s roles as breadwinners in the working world.
However, in the 1970’s the meaning of freedom changed and the phrase was more associated with older women’s freedom to express themselves. Today flappers may be young, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel free. The freedom to express what you want to say or do is one of the reasons that flappers have enjoyed such a long and vibrant artistic history.
What were some of your childhood flappers activities? Why did they involve so much physical exertion?
Many of my childhood flappers were involved in gymnastics, sports, games, sports, drama, and music. I was so passionate about all those sports that in my childhood I started skipping and jumping and climbing trees when I was 12.
In addition to sport, I was always a fan of the music of a wide variety of musicians in the 1920’s. My favorite of all these artists was Louis Armstrong, who became the first of many American entertainers to make major music history during the 20’s. I watched his films and played the saxophone in a band with him. To put it somewhat bluntly, I was much like him, and I have many of his songs that I still play today.
What was your favorite movie of your childhood? Was it all about music or did it have a political message? Please tell us.
I had a soft spot (and still do) for all movies made by the silent era and especially the Coen Brothers (heck, I even still own a copy of The Big Lebowski, just so you know). My favorite movie I attended were the films made in the 1930’s in which the hero’s were very often played by musicians and the music was also frequently jazz influenced. As I get older I’ve started to lose interest in movies made by the Coen Brothers, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been entertained by them.
The movies of the 1930’s are the only ones you can see in
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