There’s a common misconception that all Black folks moved on from the blues, and an even more damaging viewpoint that white folks “saved” the blues from dying. But in reality, blues music and blues dancing are still practiced in a variety of forms in some Black communities today and their legacies live on is related dance forms as well. Many Black musicians and dancers carry on the traditions, innovate, and connect to the blues in a variety of ways.
Jukin’ in Clarksdale, Mississippi today
Junious Brickhouse explores and connects African American movement traditions, including blues (Buck dancing); they empower him to express his community activism as an African American man
There are so many Black musicians playing the blues today. Watch through this playlist to appreciate what a variety of voices, music styles, and approaches to blues are happening now!
Blues (and swing) dances also live on in various Black partner dance scenes around the country. For example, Graystone is a dance from Detroit that began in the Swing & Blues era to big band music. Today it’s part of a thriving Urban Ballroom dance scene, danced to a variety of musics, including blues as well as other genres.
Damon Stone. Damon learned blues dancing as part of his family’s heritage, and has gone on to teach and study other blues dances as well. He is the reason so many of us are here–having taught us, our teachers, or our teachers’ teachers.
- Jack Dappa Blues website & podcasts spotlight current blues artists.
- Follow these blues artists who are active on Facebook: Gaye Adegbalola, Jontavious Willis, Marquise Knox, Brother Yusef, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Willie J. Laws Jr
- The Blues is Our Story post by Brother Yusef
- Blues & Hip-Hop blog post (cw: murder of a black youth) by Andrew Abbensett
- Ujima Blues Foundation champions projects that preserve the history of blues dance while recognizing the living legacy of the black community in the dance and the music.