Combining memoir with auto-ethnography, historical study and sociocultural analysis, Halifu Osumare draws on her decades of experience to explore the complexities of black dance...

Combining memoir with auto-ethnography, historical study and sociocultural analysis, Halifu Osumare draws on her decades of experience to explore the complexities of black dance in the United States. Starting in San Francisco during the rise of the Black Arts and Black Power Movements as well as of hippie counterculture, Osumare’s narrative follows her subsequent journeys to twenty-three countries across Europe, Africa and North America. Throughout Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir (University Press of Florida, 2018), she reflects on her subjectivity as a black woman traveling through and performing in diverse national/cultural contexts. Drawing on her academic grounding in black studies as well as her artistic experiences as a professional dancer, Osumare underscores the relationship between art, performance, and the black struggle for recognition, justice and self-empowerment.

Dr. Osumare is professor emerita of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis, is the author of The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop and The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop: Power Moves.


Sitara Thobani is Assistant Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the performance arts in colonial and postcolonial South Asia and its diasporas, especially as these relate to formations of nation, gender, sexuality and religion. She received her DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology form Oxford University, and is the author of Indian Classical Dance and the Making of Postcolonial National Identities: Dancing on Empire’s Stage (Routledge 2017).

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