Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Mary Mitchell

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Mosterman

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Dungy

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James Mokhiber


In partnership with the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, my project entitled “African Dance in New Orleans: The Roots of Black New Orleans Dance” exhibit will focus on the African diasporic roots of Black traditional dance practices within New Orleans’ African American community. This project aims to diversify the public and political expressions of Black dance in New Orleans. It argues that the study of dance forms and practices uncovers narratives and fragments of African and African American cultural history in New Orleans that are impossible to glean from other sources. This thesis will support three modes of African diaspora dance retentions and cultural practices expressed in New Orleans’ dance communities. With the help of oral histories from African Dance and Drum companies, Black Masking Indians, social aid and pleasure club members, and participants from New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park artist-in-residence musicians. As an exhibit, my project will support the historical narrative of African dance and African cultural continuity in New Orleans through the National Park Service. As an ongoing public history project, this project will support the current efforts to understand African cultural practices in Black New Orleans dance.


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