The text begins with the woman who had raised him being pregnant, and instantly the sense of violence is introduced, the dangers of the Ku Klux Klan lurk within the beginning of the text and the description of fear is already being portrayed. "Nightmare” is appropriately titled the very first chapter. When this chapter is expressed not only does the reader already acknowledge struggle but there is also a brief background of his father. His father who was preaching the right that all African Americans had to go back to where he felt they belonged, he preached of the wrong that the “white man” oppresses amongst them and the cruelty they receive. An example of what may be racial identity, an example of how the color of ones skin was so effecting that his father felt the need to leave everything behind and truly felt that leaving was the
In Ailey’s own account, he moved to California a shy, lonely child and found comfort in the alter-realities of the theater, dance and movies. It was during this time that he came to identity as a homosexual. Horton, an openly gay white man, pioneered a school and company of gay, lesbian and straight dancers from ethnic backgrounds who executed innovated choreography at concerts. Through Horton’s mentoring and his accepting Dance Company, Ailey reacted to this sexual and racial liberation in a manner that helped develop his creative talent into a weighted and sensual style that worked with his athletic body (43). Though Ailey remained closeted through life, he preformed numerous interviews throughout his career and, but remained private about his personal affairs. He often described himself as a bachelor and a loner in interviews and maintained that he did feel the needed to sustain a long-term relationship (44). Ailey’s struggle with accepting his own sexuality could be seen as a limitation to his creative expression; however, his resilience to this obstacle created by society can be easily seen in his work. His technique is known for physically and emotionally moving both the dancer and the audience. It is clear that though he may have kept his personal life to himself, his passion and intensity exploded on the stage through his
Alvin Ailey, a dancer born in 1931, founded what is known today as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Born in Texas, Ailey faced intense racism and discrimination growing up. As a result he strove to created a multi-racial company where dancers were judged upon ability and not their race or background. This was groundbreaking since at the time racism led to limited opportunities for African American dancers. At 22 Ailey joined the Horton dance company where he would eventually become the artistic director after Horton’s passing. Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. Popularizing modern dance, Ailey became known throughout the world as he traveled internationally with his dance company. Emphasizing the theatricality of dance, Ailey utilized intricate costumes, stunning lighting displays and makeup in his performances. The style of Ailey’s choreography incorporates aligned ballet legs with a more loose, “modern” torso. Ailey choreographed 79 pieces for the company before his death in December of 1989, one of the most acclaimed being Revelations. Revelations was created by Ailey in 1960 and brought fame to the company. The highly acclaimed piece is still preformed today by the company’s dancers. Ailey died of AIDS in 1989 after choreographing countless pieces for his own company and others such as the American Ballet Theater.
DeFrantz, Thomas. "Composite Bodies of Dance: The Repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater." Project MUSE - Composite Bodies of Dance: The Repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. .
Haskins, James. "Geoffrey Holder and Carmen De Lavallade." Black Dance in America. N.p.: n.p., 1990. 130-37. Print.
the slaves. On the surface, these two works do not seem to be much related, but it is in this theme
...interesting enough for the reader to overcome this disconnect, especially if interested in all facets of African American history. It provided information about this reviewer’s hometown, Memphis, TN, and its connection to the Church of God in Christ and the holiness movement that they were unaware of. That is what this kind of book is all about. It is not just to give a rundown of historical events and religion but to provide the reader with a means of a personal connection and it is up to the reader to find that connection. This connection may not be as noticeable as a fact about one’s hometown but could be deep rooted into the overall message of the work. Find that personal connection and this book will definitely be worth the read. Nevertheless this book provides an insightful window into religion and how it is able to connect with the many branches of history.
It shows how religion serves two main purposes during this time. It is used to justify slavery and later, to use it against it. Slave owners would take passages from the bible and interpret it as this was God’s design to own slaves and conform them to Christianity. This was the Christian thing to do according to God’s will. The bible was a powerful tool for slaves and it was often prohibited for Africans to access it. This is proven by when Equiano wasn’t able to purchase a bible during his travel in the West Indies. Slaves would be able to find encouragement from the scriptures and any possibility of rebellion or enlightenment was a fear for slave owners. The abolition movement was established by the Quakers to end the slave trade. Their campaign was built on the belief that God crated everyone equal in his eyes. The Quakers would preach reform in West Indies, American and Britain colonies. The significance the Quakers have is represented by the countless encounters and involvement Equiano shares with
Frederick Douglass presents an astonishing representation of the issues towards Christianity and religion. According to the narrator of the novel, there are two forms of Christianity that are represented in the text. There are both "true" and "false" versions of religion.In a slaves perspective, Christianity is considered to be their saving grace. Choosing to believe in God is their only reason to wake up in the morning and suffer through the exhausting list of chores they have to accomplish throughout the day. Participating in religious activities of worship gives them confidence that one day, God will save them from the cruelty they have endured for so long. Frederick Douglass admits to practicing of what is the "true" version of religion and the whites who openly oppose slavery. On the other hand, slave masters or remaining whites have flipped the purpose of Christianity and molded it into hypocrisy where it has become a bastardization of the true ideals behind genuine Christian thoughts. The reader gets the gist of the story that slavery and true Christianity are oppos...
One of the first concerts ever produced by his company was titled Blues Suite, which was a well-received depiction of poverty in the deep south set to a soundtrack of blues music. This concert was an integral part in defining Alvin Ailey’s choreography technique, which is loosely based on the technique associated in ballet with strong legs and feet, while still maintaining a more evocative, modern-style torso. However, the most critical element that determined the specific style of each piece was solely dependent on the story he wanted to tell. Revelations was a magnificent showcase of storytelling that quickly became Alvin’s signature dance concert. He drew inspiration for this piece from his memories as a child growing up in the south. According to the Dance Heritage Coalition, the concert, which has been viewed by twenty-three million people worldwide, featured the sounds of negro spirituals and gospel music with depictions of common worship rituals including baptism in Wade in the Water, the sacred act of taking communion in I Wanna Be Ready, and prayer in I’ve Been Buked (1). Additionally, Alvin also focused a great deal of his energy into creating a dramatic atmosphere for his dancers to perform in. He had a very strong creative influence in
Most African Americans and many races respected Ailey because he was "A leading figure in modern dance, whose dances reflected his black Southern Heritage and are set to jazz or gospel music." (The New Book of Knowledge 587). In Ailey's dance company, there was one dancer that Ailey admired. Her name was Judith Jamison. She provided the inspiration for Ailey to dance to a solo piece, named Cry. Cry was for Alieys mother; dedicated to" all Black women everywhere-mothers." (Alvin Ailey Dance Company 3).
Examination into the true heart of experience and meaning, Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage looks at the structures of identity and the total transformation of the self. The novel talks about the hidden assumptions of human and literary identity and brings to view the real problems of these assumptions through different ideas of allusion and appropriation. As the novel tells Rutherford Calhoun’s transformation of un-awareness allows him to cross “the sea of suffering” (209) making him forget who he really is. The novel brings forth the roots of human “being” and the true complications and troubles of African American experiences. Stuck between posed questions of identity, the abstract body is able to provide important insight into the methods and meanings in Middle Passage.
The primary function of the Negro spirituals was to serve as communal song in a religious gathering, performed in a call and response pattern reminiscent of West African traditional religious practices. During these ceremonies, one person would begin to create a song by singing about his or her own sorrow or joy. That individual experience was brought to the community and through the call and response structure of the singing, that individual’s sorrow or joy became the sorrow or joy of the community. In this way, the spiritual became truly affirming, for it provided communal support for individual experiences. Slaves used the characters of the bible, particularly the Old Testament,...
Despite all of these injustices, Chapter 12 also creates a feeling of support and sympathy for the black community. For example, even though they’re oppressed, the black community still has a sense of pride. Their church is called First Purchase because it was paid for with the first earnings of freed slaves. This shows the black’s great devotion to their religion.
Jones employs the dynamics of change to his speaker throughout the poem. From an aimless vagrant to a passionate revolutionary, Jones plots his speaker's course using specific words and structural techniques. Through these elements, we witness the evolution of a new black man--one who is not content with the passivity of his earlier spiritual leaders. We are left with a threat--a steel fist in a velvet glove of poetry--and it becomes a poem that we "have to" understand, whether we want to or not.