Dancers for the Harlem Renaissance: Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, and Jack Johnson 

By Robert G. O’Meally

February 15 • 6:00p

FIA Theater

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the lecture Dancers for the Harlem Renaissance: Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, and Jack Johnson on Wednesday, February 15, 6pm, will not be in-person but will be shown virtually, via Zoom or YouTube. 
Dr. Robert O’Meally will present this lecture as Part One of a two-part lecture series dealing with the Harlem Renaissance. Part Two will be in person at a later date this year, to be announced.
You can watch the Zoom lecture in one of two ways:

Register here or watch live on the FIA’s YouTube channel.

Robert G. O’Meally

In this slide-show talk, Robert G. O’Meally will outline the dates and places of the Harlem Renaissance and highlight some of its major movers and shakers: W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, Sterling Brown. He will also give a brief overview of dance of the period, both stage choreography and social dance, but his emphasis will be on the multi-talented Josephine Baker and one of her mentors, Johnny Hudgins, an international dance star in his own time who is now virtually lost to history. The importance of

Jack Johnson, that dancer in the boxing ring who became the first African American to become

Heavyweight Champion of the World will also be explored. Many Harlemites—and then Black people all over America— who never heard of Du Bois were aware that these three cultural icons had changed the course of Black cultural history forever. They were Harlem Renaissance leaders who need to be brought back to center stage. 

Robert G. O’Meally is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has served on the faculty for thirty years. The founder and former director of Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies, O’Meally is the author of several publications, including Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday and Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey. For his production of a Smithsonian record set called The Jazz Singers, he was nominated for a Grammy award. He has held Guggenheim, Cullman, and Library of Congress Fellowships, and was a recent fellow at Columbia’s new Institute for Ideas and Imagination at the Global Center/Paris.

co-sponsored by

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture logo

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history, and is funded annually by The Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.

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