“This is how I approach Blackness: It’s celebratory…It’s something that I don’t want to move away from, I want to move closer to.” E. Ethelbert Miller, Washington, DC-based poet activist The internationally renowned and celebrated Step Afrika!, specializes in stepping: “a percussive, highly-energetic art form..[in which] the body becomes an instrument, using footsteps, claps and […]
A quarter-century ago, C. Brian Williams, who’d honed his step-dancing skills as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha at Howard University, was visiting South Africa at the dawn of the Nelson Mandela presidency. Williams saw a boy on a roadside doing a step-like gumboot dance, the kind miners in that country developed to communicate with […]
The painter Jacob Lawrence’s 60-panel Migration Series chronicles the exodus of more than six million African-Americans from the South to the North starting around 1916. The WPA-funded project was published in 1941 when he was 25. Step Afrika!, D.C.’s home-grown step dance company, takes spirited inspiration from these works in The Migration: Reflections on Jacob […]
In 1941, Jacob Lawrence became one of the first black artists to have his work shown in a New York City art gallery, with his powerful Migration Series on display, a sequence of 60 paintings depicting the mass movement of over 5 million African Americans from the rural South to the urban North between World […]
SLAM tap tap tap tap… SLAM tap tap tap tap…. Like a shot from a gun or a huge book crashing to the ground, the SLAM defies description. It’s a sound not so much heard as felt. The impact of the man’s shoe on the stage sends vibrations into my chest.