Jookin': The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture

Jookin The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African American Culture Katrina Hazzard Gordon offers the first analysis of the development of the jook an underground cultural institution created by the black working class together with other dance arenas in African Ameri

  • Title: Jookin': The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture
  • Author: Katrina Hazzard-Gordon Kartina Hazzard-Gordon
  • ISBN: 9780877229568
  • Page: 226
  • Format: Paperback
  • Katrina Hazzard Gordon offers the first analysis of the development of the jook an underground cultural institution created by the black working class together with other dance arenas in African American culture Beginning with the effects of African slaves middle passage experience on their traditional dances, she traces the unique and virtually autonomous dance cultureKatrina Hazzard Gordon offers the first analysis of the development of the jook an underground cultural institution created by the black working class together with other dance arenas in African American culture Beginning with the effects of African slaves middle passage experience on their traditional dances, she traces the unique and virtually autonomous dance culture that developed in the rural South Like the blues, these secular dance forms and institutions were brought north and urbanized by migrating blacks In northern cities, some aspects of black dance became integrated into white culture and commercialized Focusing on ten African American dance arenas from the period of enslavement to the mid twentieth century, this book explores the jooks, honky tonks, rent parties, and after hours joints as well as the licensed membership clubs, dance halls, cabarets, and the dances of the black elite.Jook houses emerged during the Reconstruction era and can be viewed as a cultural response to freedom In the jook, Hazzard Gordon explains, an immeasurable amount of core black culture including food, language, community fellowship, mate selection, music, and dance found a sanctuary of expression when no other secular institution flourished among the folk The jook and its various derivative forms have provided both entertainment and an economic alternative such as illegal lotteries and numbers to people excluded from the dominant economy Dances like the Charleston, shimmy, snake hips, funky butt, twist, and slow drag originated in the jooks some can be traced back to Africa.Social dancing links black Americans to their African past strongly than any other aspect of their culture Citing the significance of dance in the African American psyche, this study explores the establishments that nurtured ancestral as well as communal links for African Americans, vividly describing black dances, formal rituals, such as debutante balls, and the influence of black dance on white culture.

    One thought on “Jookin': The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture”

    1. A nice history of dancing in the African American community. Good references between social history and dance history, but I would have liked more examples of steps and mechanics of dances.Admittedly, I have been exposed to movement concepts through old-timers and dance classes so I would have liked to have had what I learned compared to what people were doing at the time. What this book gave me was a fuller view of the social lives of the people and culture who were doing the partner dancing of [...]

    2. The subject is fascinating, and much of the primary source content, but the organization and writing felt dry and lifeless (especially compared to the type of dancing that served as the focus). I was most disappointed at the lack of sensitivity to the dance as movement. Very rarely did the author include descriptions of movements accompany their suggestive, but not necessarily defining, names for moves or steps such as funky butt, camel walks, snake hips, etc. Moreover, there's doubtless much to [...]

    3. Jookin' featured shockingly poor organization, accompanied by shoddy writing that efficiently obscured meaning behind names and dates tossed out with abandon. Though ostensibly about social dance, the writing lacked movement. Hazzard-Gordon rarely got around to interpreting how the changing socio-cultural formations effected the physical movements. (For example: How did movements change to accommodate the smaller spaces of Rent Parties?) Though I slogged through it, I wouldn't recommend anyone e [...]

    4. Had to read this for an Anthro African dance class where the author is my professor. The book is okay for the class and it went well because it taught me how dancing and slaves meshed together. If I was to see this book in a library I would not pick it up because it is not my type of read. It wasn't slow but you have to be interested in the genre and material that is being presented in the book. I did feel that the author jumped around a bit and it wasn't properly laid out.

    5. This book places cultural developments in places, times, and demographics, while giving reasons for how those settings came about.Dance movements and their development are not covered, while the placement of popular dances and their settings are included.

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