"CAKEWALK" | It's origins in slavery, the cakewalk mocked the rich folks in the "Big House," and southern high-society. Bowing, bending and a high-stepping promenade were characteristic of the dance. In many instances the Cakewalk was performance, and even competition. The dance would be held at the master’s house on the plantation and he would serve as judge. The dance’s name comes from the cake that would be awarded to the winning couple.
Aida Overton Walker dazzled early-twentieth-century theater audiences with her original dance routines, her enchanting singing voice, and her penchant for elegant costumes. One of the premiere African American women artists of the turn of the century, she popularized the cakewalk and introduced it to English society. In addition to her attractive stage persona and highly acclaimed performances, she won the hearts of black entertainers for numerous benefit performances near the end of her…
The Cakewalk was a dance that was performed by slaves at get togethers on plantations. There are many theories as to its origin, one being that slaves borrowed the dance from the Seminole Indian tribe. The dance caught on in society in the late 1800's and at the end the couple who performed it best was awarded a cake. First performed only by men, it became the fashion to have women participate in the 1890's at which time the dance reached epic and ridiculous proportions.
The Great Depression originated in the U.S., after the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries rich and poor. In many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the end of World War II.
Millie and Christine McCoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins born into slavery. They and their mother were sold to a showman, Joseph Smith. Smith and his wife educated the girls; they eventually could speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. They were known as 'The Two Headed Nightingale'. In the 1880s they retired and purchased a small farm. Millie died of tuberculosis at age 61, with Christine following hours later. They remain one of the oldest-lived set of conjoined twins.
THE AMISTAD REBELLION: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom by Marcus Rediker-- A unique account of the most successful slave rebellion in American history—from the award-winning author of THE SLAVE SHIP