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

Katrina Hazzard-Gordon, Author, Gordon Katrina Hazzard, Author
Katrina Hazzard-Gordon, Author, Gordon Katrina Hazzard, Author Temple University Press $39.5 (226p) ISBN 978-0-87722-613-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Whites have steadily borrowed from African-American dance. We glean just how rich the black dance tradition is from this vibrant, engaging social history, which hops from the decks of slave ships to honky-tonks, membership clubs and cabarets. Rutgers sociologist Hazzard-Gordon takes us inside Reconstruction-era jook houses where food, gambling, drink and fellowship were offered, and where dances like the shimmy, Charleston, snake hips, funky butt, twist and slow drag crystallized into cultural forms. She deciphers dance as a medium through which blacks have articulated group experience, whether in resisting slavery or in preserving a sense of identity in urban ghettos. Illustrated. (Sept.)