While I do believe several 1920s Parisians had a genuine love and respect for African American artists, this number of people was limited. It is separated between the people who celebrated African American artists for their uniqueness with respect and admiration and those Parisians who treated them like an “other”, a merely exotic phenomenon. They observe and pay attention to when society pointed them out as someone to be recognized and to be made fun of them with racial slurs and insults when society said they were lesser human beings. This love wasn’t sincere but an obsessive infatuation in what many people probably viewed as a passing musical fad. It is something new to the Parisians and critics opened up new streams of reviews. Paul Achard said the following in Paris-Midi:
“Before a joyous decor, the jazz [band] attacks, soft, splenetic, brutal, lustful, or sad at the same time. And in front of us, that troop of black artists appeared… We don’t understand their language, and I am not seeking to link together their scenes, but it is all our readings that pass before our excited imagination: adventure novels; pictures of enormous steamships looming over groups of nègres loaded with rich bundles; a singing siren in an unknown port with men of color burdened with sacks, the stories of missionaries and voyagers… sacred dances, the Sudan; the countryside of the plantations; all the melancholy of Creole wet nurses’ songs; all the nègre soul with its animal convulsions, its childish joys, and its sadness from a past of servitude.” (Jordan, 104)
This quote shows many things but mostly on the whole, the French people romanticized the experience of African Americans through the stories they had heard about them prior and also their music. Many things were idealized including the brutality and hardship of being a slave on the southern plantation fields. Achard says “countryside of the plantations” and “sadness from a past of servitude” which diminish the entire entity of slavery. The way he writes trivializes slavery in a way that French people wouldn’t see a people who struggled to survive in horrible conditions but a people they could relate to, people of the countryside too. Reviews and opinions like this make it impossible for the Parisians in the 1920s to even possibly commiserate with the African American artists and even comprehend their lives. He continues to describe the African American culture as if it came out of adventure novels, not was someone’s actual story. On one hand, this educates people who only have access to the reviews about the culture but does so in a way that it takes away from the culture in history and censors the truth just to forward the movement of African American artist in Paris. This is short lived though, while respect is gained among a small part of the population, most people jump on the bandwagon just enough to get a taste without actually going deep into the problem before jumping off and joining another band wagon of a new music fad.