African American Dance: An Illustrated History
Africans brought as slaves to North America arrived without possessions, but not without culture. The fascinating elements of African life manifested themselves richly in the New World, and among the most lasting and influential of these was the art of African dance. This generously illustrated history follows the dynamics of African dance forms throughout each generation. Early chapters discuss the African continent and the heritage of African American dance; the discrimination and marginalization of African Americans and the fortitude with which their dance forms survived; and black dance in the slavery era and later in the nineteenth century. Remaining chapters outline ten major characteristics that have consistently marked African American dance, and describe the various styles of black vernacular dance that became popular in America. The book concludes with a discussion of African dance at the end of the twentieth century and its important role in the flowering of African American arts.