The International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Observations on Black History, Feminism, and Jazz

In celebration of Women’s History Month the Olean Public Library will feature Dr. Richard Frederick, Director of the History & Political Science Program, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on Wednesday, March 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm in the Art Gallery.

The presentation is entitled “The International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Observations on Black History, Feminism, and Jazz.”

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was one of the great… “all-girl swing bands” of the 1940s. The band’s roots in rural Mississippi provide an overview of education for African-Americans in the Deep South early in the 20th Century. In addition, jazz was generally considered an all-male enterprise, but several swinging female groups arose in the period just prior to World War II, which may illuminate the changing role that some women played as a result of the depression and, later, World War II.

Dr. Frederick is the author or co-author of books on President Warren G. Harding, President William Howard Taft, Ellis Island and Theoretical Concepts in Biology. Dr. Frederick has received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Pittsburgh and the Teaching Excellence Award from the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association.

Dr. Frederick was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State University; M.A. from St. Mary’s University, and B.A. from Indiana University. Dr. Frederick has worked at Pitt-Bradford since 1979. He taught as an adjunct at St. Bonaventure University in the late 80s-early 90s.