Dear Reader –
We affirm our gratitude to Stephanie Y. Evans, full professor in the Institute for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and affiliate faculty of Africana Studies at Georgia State University, who initially conceived of this project.
It was important for us to shape this issue in a way that not only celebrates names that may be familiar but that honors the histories and questions that are perhaps new to the audience of this publication. We lift up Black women who forged paths upon which we all still dance. We take stock of the contradictions and complexities, embedded as layers of meaning in Black women’s dancing bodies. We celebrate practices of joy, resistance, and freedom through which we have come to know our dancing selves. This collection of articles, interviews, photos, and films, is an ode to Black women’s dance histories - a glimpse of a vast realm whose depths have yet to be fully explored.
We are grateful to the range of contributors to this volume whose patience, clarity and hard work have been hallmarks of this process. Without their knowledge, wisdom and scholarship, this project would not have been realized. We are thankful to The Dancer-Citizen editors — Jane Alexandre, Erica Moshman, and Emily Metzner — who generously shared their time, insights, and expertise in this collective labor of love. As guest editors of this project, we understand this body of work not as a beginning, and certainly not as an end. We offer this volume of The Dancer-Citizen as a gift and a provocation to the field in the ardent hope that it provides new folds and textures to explore in the ever-unfurling fabric of Black dance.
Takiyah Nur Amin
Julie B. Johnson