History of Black Dance in America
See a review of the 2015 Juneteenth Celebration show here: http://artsmeme.com/2015/06/25/review-the-history-of-black-dance-in-america/
What is “The History of Black Dance in America”?
HBDA is a multi-media dance concert that showcases the contributions of African-Americans to popular American social dance from slavery to the modern era. It has been presented every year since 2011, and in 2015 was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Audiences are mesmerized by authentic renditions of dances such as Zulu, Work Songs, Cakewalk, Spiritual Dances, Shim Sham, Lindy Hop, Foxtrot, the African inspired Latin-American dances, and more. It is a family-friendly show that hopes to entertain as well as teach some little known history that every American should know. The 2015 performance also observes the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19ththat the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with: