Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Black History Month: A Dance Like Starlight

Kristy Dempsey crafted a beautiful narrative of an young African American girl who longs to be a ballerina. But is there even a possibility for here back in the 1950s in Harlem.

I love how the young girl wants to wish on a star for her dream...but her mother tells her it takes hope. Hoping is hard work.

Her Mama cleans and stitches the costumes for the ballet school.

The young girl dances backstage as the ballerinas practice on the stage.

The Ballet Master holds her face in his hands after she dances one day and says, "Brava, ma petite." He lets her join the lessons at the back of the room. 

Then she sees it...a picture of Janet Collins in the paper. "First Colored Prima Ballerina - New York Opera House."

I won't tell you any more...I want you to go out and share it with your class!

The language in the story is beautiful...

               and streelights spreading bright halos round their pin-top faces

               a dream got inside my heart

               That's when hope picked my dream up from the floor of my heart

This is a wonderful story to add to your collection for Black History Month.

Here is a webpage about Janet Collins: Prima Janet Collins