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Dancing to Rebalance the Universe: African American Secular Dance and Spirituality

Dancing to Rebalance the Universe: African American Secular Dance and Spirituality Dancing to Rebalance the Universe: African American Secular Dance and Spirituality Katrina Hazzard-Gordon This article intends to briefly outline and discuss some of the spiri­ tual and philosophical concerns demonstrated in African American secular social dancing. The dancing we concern ourselves with here has historically and contemporarily originated and occurred in Afri­ can American communities throughout the United States. This strain of black social dance has been nurtured and developed in African American secular cultural institutions, namely, the Jook and its de­ rivative forms (honky-tonk, after-hours joint, rent party), as well as at dance halls, membership clubs, block dances, house jams, cabarets, and cabaret parties. House jams, with their individualistic nature, have added a dimension of privatized support. The Jook and its deriv­ ative forms compose the Jook continuum and appear to be related to rural bondsmen's religious activities, just as those activities are di­ rectly influenced by the African past. Dance, music, food, and alco­ hol are part of numerous West African sacred ceremonies. Certainly, African captives to America retained their religious customs in their immediate memory and passed some of those customs on to their offspring who used them to create their own meaningful culture. For the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Dancing to Rebalance the Universe: African American Secular Dance and Spirituality

Black Sacred Music , Volume 7 (1) – Mar 1, 1993

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Copyright
Copyright © 1993 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-7.1.17
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Dancing to Rebalance the Universe: African American Secular Dance and Spirituality Katrina Hazzard-Gordon This article intends to briefly outline and discuss some of the spiri­ tual and philosophical concerns demonstrated in African American secular social dancing. The dancing we concern ourselves with here has historically and contemporarily originated and occurred in Afri­ can American communities throughout the United States. This strain of black social dance has been nurtured and developed in African American secular cultural institutions, namely, the Jook and its de­ rivative forms (honky-tonk, after-hours joint, rent party), as well as at dance halls, membership clubs, block dances, house jams, cabarets, and cabaret parties. House jams, with their individualistic nature, have added a dimension of privatized support. The Jook and its deriv­ ative forms compose the Jook continuum and appear to be related to rural bondsmen's religious activities, just as those activities are di­ rectly influenced by the African past. Dance, music, food, and alco­ hol are part of numerous West African sacred ceremonies. Certainly, African captives to America retained their religious customs in their immediate memory and passed some of those customs on to their offspring who used them to create their own meaningful culture. For the

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1993

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