Andrew Deener, author of Venice: A Contested Bohemia in Los Angeles
“In American Allegory, Black Hawk Hancock has written a rich and intricately detailed ethnography of the distinct worlds of lindy hop and steppin'. Here, readers are offered a guide to the ways in which cultural expressions have come to occupy separate racial and spatial realms and how this apparent segregation of race, culture and identity is practiced in the United States today.”
John L. Jackson, Jr., author of Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity
“Black Hawk Hancock provides a fascinating dance ethnography situation within the larger context of Chicago’s segregated social landscape. By deploying Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’ as a recurring conceptual hook in a ‘carnal sociology’ reminiscent of Loic Wacquant’s, Hancock offers an entertaining and valuable new perspective in the ongoing debates about the organization and reproduction of America’s racial order. American Allegory is a fluent and nuanced piece of scholarship.”
"You will be glad to have come across this study. It keeps a good balance between academic study and cultural practice 'as told by an insider' who carefully investigates an art form both intellectually and physically."
Journal of American Culture
"Hancock critically engages the racial imagination surrounding the expressive nature of dancing and how black and white bodies are coded differently. His argument is an important expansion of scholarship in American culture because Hancock posits the body as a site of cultural memory. . . . An important piece of scholarship on racial displacement, expressive culture, and the residue of racial segregation in urban spaces and places. The author makes an original contribution to American culture by the honesty and bravado he displays by writing a genealogy of the Lindy Hop and the complications of race that influence the dance from the 1920s to the present day Steppin', which is performed today."
Prologue: This Strange Dance
Lead In: The Cost of Insight
Introduction: The Lindy Hop Revival
1 Finding the Pocket
2 Caught in the Act of Appropriation
3 Put a Little Color on That!
4 Steppin’ Out of Whiteness
Lead Out: Learning How to Make Life Swing
Conclusion: Toward New Territory
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu