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Josephine Baker Dances With Her Shadow!

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Behold...the first African-American female to star in a major motion picture. This clip is from the movie Zouzou (1934).

Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine became a citizen of France, an international musical and political icon, and was the first to integrate an American Concert Hall.

Josephine was honored for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and for being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.

This article originally appeared at this link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVPJD3kaKRQ

Hellzapoppin' Lindy Hop!

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Hi Everybody,
Time to enjoy some "Swing Dancing" from the Movie Hellzapoppin' (1941).

This clip showcases Slim Galliard and members of his group performing the Hellzapoppin' Jam. The classic dance sequence is performed by the incomparable "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers."

Dancers (in order of appearance) William Downes and Micky Jones, Billy Ricker and Norma Miller, Al Minns and Willa Mae Ricker, Frankie Manning and Ann Johnson.

NOTE:
Some viewers may feel there are racial overtones in this clip. I'm including it on The Black History Channel because these dancers and performers are all professionals, experts at their craft who deserve to be showcased.

This video was originally posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahoJReiCaPk

Enjoy!

Rita Lorraine

Original Uprock

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This video originally posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Agz_2um4c

This video, labeled "Original Uprock," is included purely for your entertainment.

It features Al Minns and Leon James (better known as Al & Leon) who were a popular Lindy Hop and jazz dance duo. According to Wikipedia, "they were most famous for their film and stage performances in the 1930s and 1940s both on their own, and as part of the Harlem-based Whitey's Lindy Hoppers."

They appeared in a few early films and television shows. This clip is rumored to be from The Playboy TV Show in or around 1959.

The song is DJ Z-Trip's - "All About The Music."

Enjoy!
Rita Lorraine

The Jumpin' Jive

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Here is another wonderful number by The Nicholas Brothers. They were a lot older in this number (which also stars Cab Calloway, Lena Horne and a host of other African American stars.

This video was originally posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8yGGtVKrD8

Lucky Numbers

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"Lucky Numbers" is one of the most adorable tap dances ever performed by young African American entertainers. The amazing footwork is rumored to have been choreographed by the older of the two brothers, Fayard Nicholas.

In this clip, Fayard is twenty-two years old, and Harold -- who looks all of eight years old -- is actually age fifteen.  Note that in addition to their outstanding tap talent, they also have beautiful singing voices.

The Nicholas Brothers headlined shows all over the world and appeared in every major television show, nightclub and theater in America. They also performed for the troops in Viet Nam in 1965.

They  received many tributes and awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Kennedy Center Honors (presented by President George Bush), and an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. They also taught tap to the likes of Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson, and Michael Jackson.

These wonderful brothers were inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).

Read more about The Nicholas Brothers on their official website:

http://www.nicholasbrothers.com/

 

This video was originally posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IBteauWsHA

The Black History Channel