First released by Bauer in 1929 as the fourth weight of Futura, Futura Black amplified a growing trend of bold, often high-contrast display typefaces popular in advertising, described as Modern, Deco, or Jazz types. Despite the general popularity of the type styles, critics battled against the style as "loud" and "erratic," or as "going wrong on Modernism." These and later critiques separated Futura Black aesthetically and culturally from the rest of the Futura family. Whether purposeful or not, these critiques helped shape prevailing industry values of typography and type design. Labeling a typeface "Jazz" associated it with subversive and underground culture–a segregated world only furtively acknowledged outside its own realm, and looked upon largely by white culture as a bastion of degeneracy, rebellion, and hedonism. Their terms defined and justified parameters of "acceptable" or "true" modernism even when these definitions and values circumscribed the work of their creators. I will consider Futura Black as a case study of the problematic, perhaps racially-driven issues of typographic taste-making and authority, given the uses of Modern, Deco, Jazz, and even Black in typography as markers that continue to police our current understanding of modernism and design. In doing so I will address larger questions of representation and critical appropriation of "Jazz" as a way to describe an era, and how racial animosity influenced these descriptions.