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William Henry Lane created American tap dance from blending African rhythms and Irish jig and reel!

 Tap Shoes//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

There’s so many types of dances. Can you count them all? I mean

every single one. I love to dance freestyle to Rihanna’s music.

I swear she have some of the best remixes and original songs

I’ve ever heard. Her music inspires me to dance the days away.

Enough about that. The reason I’m writing is to tell the story of

a Black man who is influential in the creation of American

tap dance.

Lane developed a unique way of using his body as a

musical instrument, combining African derived syncopated

rhythms with movements of the Irish jig and reel. He was free

born in Providence, Rhode Island around 1825. Lane started

to learn the Irish jig and reel from Uncle Jim Lowe, a dance

hall and saloon performer in New York City, New York.

By the age of ten, Lane was performing in Paradise Square

in the Five Points District of New York, where a heavy concentration

of African AMerican and Irish populations were side by side. The

vernacular dance forms of both of these ethnic group intermingled,

providing Lane opportunity to get the different rhythmic and movement

foundations that facilitated the development of his style of dance.

Lance has an original use of different areas of his feet to

create rhythms, keep time, and  improvise complex syncopated

rhythms. This was revolutionary for the 1840s. He used his heels

to make the deeper tones of the bass drum, and balls of his feet to

layer, softer higher sounds. And to keep with his African oral traditions,

Lane included singing and laughter into his performances. This

added another layer to his rhythmic creations.
 

  The combining of the rhythm, footwork, improvisation

and vocals, Lane formed a blended style of African dance and British

Isles folk dance still seen today. Students studying tap in the

21st century can give credit to the styles they learn from Lane.

This man I must say is like a human instrument. What a way to stand out!

I just had to give this man credit. He is better than ordinary, he is

extraordinary. We need more people like him. By the way, did you know

dancers and choreographers make 16.85 per hour according to the
bureau of labor statisitics? (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-
sports/dancers-and-choreographers.htm)

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/lane-william-henry-master-juba-1825-c-1852

 

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I got the braid and twist style! (pictures inside)

I got the hairstyle from contemplating a new look. I told the stylists i want cornrows going up and twists at the top. I notice that when you don’t get parts in your twists and braids the hair looks fuller. Anyways, The top center section is where I told her to put the two strand twists. The twists really jazz it up. They flow right into the braided style. My stylist was a cosmetology student that said she would do her relative’s hair just like mine. I was honored to hear such words. This look just made me happy and I feel like a model. Aww, I will get this style again.

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THe Jabali Acrobats are African Acrobats that are so good they tour with the Harlem Globetrotters!

Jabali AcrobatsDo you know one way to get in  good shape? Do Acrobatics that is. It  gives the body a workout and flaunts flexibility. How many African acrobats do you know of? Do you at least know of the Jabali Acrobats?

These particular  Aacrobats are African Acrobats. They are originally from Mombassa, Kenya. They blend fast paced movement, music, dance, and acrobatic elegance to put on a full stage theatrical extravaganza.

Their most exciting performances shows the link between athletics and the arts. The  incredible acrobatics,contortions, tumbling, human pyramids, and chair balancing skill of these performers turns to dance, with the Congo Snake Dance, The Flaming Limbo Bar Dance, Skip Rope Footwork techniques and comedy to the most powerful music.

In addition to theatrical  performances, stage shows and festivals worldwide the Jabali Acrobats perform NBA and College halftimes and go visit places often with the Harlem Globetrotters. Other performances involve a special invitation to put on a show for President Clinton in the White House, the Big Top Universal Circus, the Big Apple Circus in New York, E.S.P.N Sports Television Network, Crook and Chase Show, and the Late Night with David Letterman.

So, have you seen this group? Have you seen them in person? I would love to see them perform. Two thumbs up to them for mastering acrobatics.

http://www.class-act.com/acts/JabaliAcrobats/

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The Nicholas Brothers are two black men who do a blend of tap, jazz, ballet, and acrobatic moves!

picture from: http://www.aliexpress.com/tap-shoes-dance_reviews.html
picture from:
http://www.aliexpress.com/tap-shoes-dance_reviews.html

Black people are these super talented bunch of people. We do things with style, grace, and  pizzazz. It always impresses me to hear black people doing well. We were born to do great things. Black people have a history of doing the most amazing things. If you know about the accomplishments of black people, you know that we are a blessing. So what brings me to the topic of black success? Well,the Nicholas Brothers come to mind.

The Nicholas Brothers are a African American dancing team. Fayard and Harold Nicholas careers spanned over 6 decades. They were recognized for their most memorable appearances in over 30 Hollywood musicals in 30s and 40s era. This includes Down Argentine Way, Sun Valley Serenade, and Stormy Weather.

Their artistry, choreographic brillance, and most unique style was a smooth blend of tap, jazz, ballet, and acrobatic moves that eeatntertained vaudeville, theatre, film, and television audiences all around the globe.

Their natural talents were honed early on in life. Their parents just so happened to be musicians that led the orchestra at the Standard Theatre in Philadelphia.

In 1932, when they first short film Pie, Pie Blackbird with Eubie Blake. Fayard and Harold opened at the Cotton Club, at the ages of 18 and 11.

They worked with such great and talented people like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Ethel Wathers.

Samuel Goldwyn spotted them at the fashionable club and invited them to do their first movie, Kid Millions. In 1940, they were contracted to 20th century fox where they completed 6 films. The Brothers traveled around Europe with Bob Hope, Eve Arden, Fanny Brice  and Josephine Baker.

They also starred in Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1936. Fayard and Harold kept performing in  Broadway, Off Broadway, and theatre productions throughout the United States and Europe until the 1980s.

In 1981, they were honored by the  Academy Awards tv special. Fayard got a Tony Award for his choreography in the broadway show Black and Blue in 1989. Harold got the Dea Award or Dance Educators of America, Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Principal Performance in Stompin at the Savoy, and the Harbor Performing Arts Center Lifetime Achievement Award.OTher awards and honors include Black Film makers Hall of Fame, Elle Award, National Film Society, Apollo Theaters Hall of Fame, First Class Inductees, Ebony Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors,The National Black Media Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award, Flo-bert Award, New York’s Tap Dance Committee, Gypsy Award,and the Professional Dancer’s Society Dance Magazine Award of 1995.

In 1994, the Brothers got their long overdue star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

The Brothers have got out and pursued their dreams to the fullest. This  what more people ought to be doing. I even have to repeat the fact that they got their star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/nicholas-brothers

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How slaves were educated!!

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Isn’t it a blessing to be able to read? I am so grateful for knowledge, especially black history. It’s my favorite subject. Black people have done so much work in the world. This includes inventions, achievements, and slave work. What an amazing bunch of people to balance it all out. The “brains” of black people is so incredible I had to make a site dedicated to my people! So that makes me wonder about slavery. How did black people learn when they were slaves?

Did you know that slaveholders thought that a slave that could read was dangerous? Southern slavemasters were against slave literacy. They feared that slaves would forge passes or convince other slaves to rebel. In 1740, South Carolina enacted another reply to the events that occured at Stono by passing an early law prohibiting teaching a slave to read or write.

In other parts of the South, the mid-18th century saw a continuation of earlier laws that forbid the education of slaves. There was still some tolerance for slave education of slaves in certain groups. In 1743, for example, Anglican ministers established a school specifically in South Carolina. For more than 20 years, the school offered instruction in Christian religion and education under the guidance of a slave schoolmaster.

Slaves found other ways of learning instead of formal education. Slaves
learned from parents, spouses, family members, and fellow slaves and some were even personally instructed by their masters or hired tutors. Slaveholders were inspired by Christian convictions to enable Bible reading among slaves and founded informal plantation schools on occasion. They needed literate slaves to do record-keeping.

In the North, black education was not forbidden. African Americans had greater access to formal schooling and had a better chance of basic reading and writing skills than Southern blacks.Quakers played a great role in raising the literacy rates among Northern blacks by persistently promoting education programs in the years before and after the Revolutionary War.

In both the pre-abolition North and the antebellum South, labor demands made ithard for slave children. to get involved in extensive learning or to attend school consistently. White teachers offered limited curricula suitable for slaves. Despite this, enslaved people and free blacks showed off their determination and ability to learn as well as an comprehension of the opportunities opened up by education.

And here us blacks are today. Reading is a beautiful thing. It’s so wonderful what you can figure out just by reading. So do take your time and enjoy a great book.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/education/history2.html