Steppin' on the Blues

The Visible Rhythms of African American Dance
Author: Jacqui Malone
Black Americans and the heritage of music and dance in the US
Paper – $22
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1996
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About the Book

Jacqui Malone explores not only the meaning of dance in African American life but also the ways in which music, song, and dance are interrelated in Black culture. Dance as it has emanated from the Black community is a pervasive, vital, and distinctive form of expression. Its movements speak eloquently of African American values and aesthetics. Beyond that, it has been a vital means of cultural survival. Malone throws a spotlight on the cultural history of Black dance, the Africanisms that influenced it, and the significant role that vocal harmony groups, Black college and university marching bands, and Black sorority and fraternity stepping teams have played in the evolution of dance in African American life.

Moving from the cakewalk to the development of jazz dance and jazz music, Steppin’ on the Blues describes the vitality, dynamism, drama, joy, and uncommon singularity of Black dance.

About the Author

Jacqui Malone is a professor in the Queens College Department of Drama, Theater and Dance at the City University of New York. She is the author of Class Act: The Jazz Life of Choreographer Cholly Atkins.



"Excellent . . . An outstanding history of black dance. There is no comparable book available."--William Ferris, director, Center for the Study of Southern Culture


Special Citation from the de la Torre Bueno Prize of the Dance Perspectives Foundation, 1997. A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 1998.