The History of Black Dance in America
A show 10 years in the making. An event 150 years in the making.
June 19, 20 and 21 2015
California State University at Dominquez Hills
See map of University campus here.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19ththat the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
What is “The History of Black Dance in America”?
HBDA is a multi-media dance concert which examines and celebrates the contributions of African-Americans to popular American social dance from slavery to the modern era. It has been presented every year since 2011, and in 2015 was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. It is a family-friendly show that hopes to entertain as well as teach some little known history that every American should know.