Cornel West writes,
Jazz is not just a music but “a mode of being in the world,” It is “an improvisational mode,”suspicious of “either/or” viewpoints, dogmatic pronouncements, or supremacist ideologies. . . . The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist with a jazz band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase creative tension within the group—a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project. This kind of critical and democratic sensibility flies in the face of any policing of borders and boundaries of “blackness,” “maleness,” “femaleness,” or “whiteness” (Race Matters).