Cover image for Katherine Dunham : pioneer of black dance
Katherine Dunham : pioneer of black dance
O'Connor, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
104 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
A biography of Katherine Dunham, emphasizing her childhood, her love of anthropology and dance, and the creation of her unique dance style.
Reading Level:
1000 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.1 3.0 47462.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 6 Quiz: 35499 Guided reading level: Y.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1785.D82 O36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



These insightful biographies highlight men and women who have struggled to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Along the way, these inspiring people have blazed a trail through history.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Katherine Dunham was one of the first choreographers to explore her African American roots and express them through dance. She grew up in Illinois, studied anthropology at the University of Chicago, made field studies of black cultures of the Caribbean, toured in her own dance company, and choreographed pieces for stage, screen, and college productions. Dunham and her husband traveled extensively and lived for a time in Haiti, but they eventually settled in East St. Louis, where she incorporated the community's young people into her vision of arts training and expression. O'Connor opens a door for readers to see not only Dunham as a person but also presents the challenges facing her as a black woman of energy and vision making her own way in mid-twentieth century America. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the text. A solid entry in the Trailblazer Biography series. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Drawing on Dunham's own autobiographical writings, O'Connor details the life and achievements of this noted African-American dancer, choreographer, and teacher. The author recounts the dancer's difficult family situation and the racism she faced growing up in Illinois. She also discusses Dunham's desire to understand the roots of African dance and the fieldwork she did in Haiti. The book concludes with mention of Dunham's fast at the age of 82 to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Haitians attempting to enter the country. Throughout the accessible text, the performer's contributions and struggles are clearly portrayed. Attractive black-and-white photographs appear on almost every page.-Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.