The Black Dancing Body; A Geography from Coon to Cool

Palgrave Macmillan, Hardcover 2003; Paperback 2005

“For anyone who’s ever sat in an audience wondering why the folks onstage look so very unlike the folks outside, this invigorating, argumentative, and highly personable book is a must.”

— Laura Shapiro, New York Magazine

“Anyone interested in dance and in African-American culture will find much to ponder here.”

— Publishers Weekly Annex

“Dixon Gottschild’s happiest readers will share her adventurousness, her inclination to listen deeply and learn, and her honesty.”

— Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Dance Magazine


“With typical generosity, Brenda Dixon Gottschild convenes a discussion of some of the most crucial issues defining black-white relations in contemporary American society. Skillfully weaving her own voice among those of diverse artists, she raises questions about racial stereotypes, expectations, and prejudices as they are experienced by performers and viewers. Because it focuses on the dancing body, situating its cultivation of physicality as part of more general cultural elaborations of corporeality, The Black Dancing Body addresses the experience of race at a profound and vital level. Candidly pursuing the racialized experiences of feet, butts, hair, and skin, Dixon Gottschild gives readers an abundance of perspectives, both historical and cultural, on the physical. She invites readers into a dialogue, marked by honesty, courage, and soul, that is capable of moving our bodies and our spirits.”

— Susan Foster, author of Reading Dancing: Bodies and Subjects in Contemporary American Dance

Available on Amazon.

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