The New York Amsterdam News, April 1, 1925. The Amsterdam News was another influential black newspaper, somewhat stodgier than the Chicago Defender.
Like anyone else concerned about “respectability,” middle-class black people in the 1920s were not warmly receptive to jazz, which at the time was signified as the equivalent of gangsta rap, punk rock and death metal rolled into one. It was simply the most depraved thing to happen to music since ragtime. So here’s the paper’s medical columnist warning his public about the addictive and soul-destroying properties of this dangerous music.
“The man” here meaning “men,” as opposed to “The Man.”
If this weren’t in a black newspaper, the author would be evoking images of “jungle savagery,” cannibalism, etc. Another trope favored by enemies of jazz was the comparison to industrial noise. It’s not unusual to see both tropes used in a single essay, though you’d think the two would be sort of self-evidently at odds.
I love the reference to “losing their religion.” But kids, you can avoid this fate by enjoying jazz responsibly.