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.