Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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homes of New Orleans4 and cast the lacy ironwork for its balconies and doorways.
The Civil War reminded the Creoles that they were Negroes and second-class citizens. A Creole lady welcomed Union General Butler to New Orleans with these words: ". . . No matter where I fight I only wish to spend what I have and fight as long as I can so that my boy may stand in the street equal to a white boy/'
This was not just talk. Creole troops decided the battle of Port Hudson for the Union, to cite only one example of sev­eral. And in the first years of reconstruction New Orleans led the fight for the ballot, free schools, equal rigits for women and other democratic reforms in the South, A Creole news­paper, the New Orleans Tribune, called upon all true demo­crats, regardless of color, to participate in the Louisiana Con­stitutional Convention of 1868:
"This will be the first constitutional body ever con­vened in the United States without discrimination of race or color. It will be the first mixed assembly clothed with a public character. As such, this conven­tion has to take a position in immediate contradiction to the white man's government. They will show that a new order of things will succeed the former order and that the long-neglected race will effectually share in the government of the state . . .**
Jelly Roll's grandfather, Henri Monette, sat in that conven­tion, and the grandfathers of other jazzmen undoubtedly sup­ported it. Soon the liberal constitution it ratified and the Negro governor it sent to the state capital were overthrown by white violence. Disillusioned, old man Monette shipped out for Panama and never returned. But the Creoles who stayed behind held on where they could. Jelly Rolls story shows their fantastic pride in their little properties and their family traditions, rooted in bastardy. They struggled to edu­cate their children, or at least to give them a trade and they