By Brenda Dixon Gottschild

Founder of the Philadelphia Dance corporation (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia tuition of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown's own histories mirror the hardships in addition to the advances of African-Americans within the inventive and social advancements of the second one half the 20 th and the early twenty-first centuries.

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Extra resources for Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance

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In 1932 she married Carroll Dorsey, who died in 1951. (Although known as Mrs. Potts until her divorce from Potts in 1931, I refer to her as “Dorsey” throughout this book. ) For three decades she was a popular figure in Philadelphia black society. Besides her enormous contribution as a teacher and role model, she was instrumental in establishing, building, and developing black organizations that became hallmarks of the Philadelphia black bourgeoisie and that, in charity matters, benefi fited the entire black community.

Potts until her divorce from Potts in 1931, I refer to her as “Dorsey” throughout this book. ) For three decades she was a popular figure in Philadelphia black society. Besides her enormous contribution as a teacher and role model, she was instrumental in establishing, building, and developing black organizations that became hallmarks of the Philadelphia black bourgeoisie and that, in charity matters, benefi fited the entire black community. She was a founder of the Germantown Civic League; a charter member of the Philadelphia Cotillion Society (the city’s legendary Cotillion balls are discussed in chapter 2); the head of the Dra-Mu Opera23 Dance Department; and at one point the writer of a social graces column for the Philadelphia Independentt, another black community newspaper.

3 Looking at the interaction between blacks and whites, we discover the double standards that are implicit in the coexistence of a dominating and a subordinated culture, and that account for the “double consciousness” that plagued African Americans, eloquently described by William Edward Burghardt (W. E. 4 Early on, white culture relayed a message to the black subculture to self-reject, to assimilate, and to adopt white standards (by embracing Christianity, by “controlling” unruly hair, by imitating white patterns of speech).

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