March 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Tickets $10

Dancing the Afrofuture: Hula, Hip-Hop, and the Duhman Legacy. Published with the University Press of Florida, the book is forthcoming in February 2024 and will be available for purchase at the event.

The launch features a book reading by Dr. Osumare and performances by PUSH dance company.

Dancing the Afrofuture: Hula, Hip-Hop, and the Dunham Legacy is the sequel to Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir (2018). It chronicles the next stage in Halifu Osumare’s life and career from dancer-activist to scholar-academic, beginning with her leaving dance and community activism in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area in early 1994 and transitioning to Hawai‘i where she earned a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Hawai‘i. In the process, she follows her mentor Katherine Dunham’s model by studying and performing hula, while researching the effects of hip-hop culture on
Hawaiian youth. This unlikely story by a unique dancer-academic leads to Osumare becoming a recognized scholar in the burgeoning field of global Hip-Hop Studies.

Osumare’s scholarly career takes her to several continents—back to Africa and Europe, and eventually to South America, as she develops her theory of “connective marginality” explaining the internationalization of hip-hop youth culture. As Osumare climbs the academic ladder, eventually becoming a Full Professor at the University of California, Davis, she illuminates the resilience of African descendant peoples through performance and the trending lens of Afrofuturism. Readers will be fascinated by Osumare’s career that “dances” across several fields, from Black dance to global pop culture, while ruminating on how the Black past reveals itself in the Afro-Present that is transforming
into the Afrofuture.

About the Author
Dr. Halifu Osumare is Professor Emerita in the Department of African American and African Studies
(AAS) at University of California, Davis, and was the Director of AAS 2011-2014. She has been a dancer, choreographer, arts administrator, and scholar of black popular culture for over forty years. With a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and an MA in Dance Ethnology from S.F. State University, she is also a protégé of the late renowned dancer-anthropologist Katherine Dunham and a Certified Instructor of Dunham Dance Technique.

As an artist-scholar, Dr. Osumare has performed, taught, and conducted research not only in the U.S., but also in the African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, and Kenya, and recently in Brazil. Her dancing, teaching and writing spans the traditional African to the contemporary African American. She has been recognized as one of the foremost scholars of global hip-hop, publishing The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop: Power Moves in 2007 and, and The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop in 2012, resulting from her 2008 Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Ghana, Legon. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on hip-hop, dance, black choreographers, and Katherine Dunham.

Dr. Osumare published her autobiography Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir in 2018 that won the 2019 Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics and the American Book Award Dr. Osumare also won the Dance Studies Association 2020 Distinction in Dance Award for lifetime achievement in performance, scholarship and service to dance. Forthcoming in February 2024 is her sequel memoir, Dancing the Afrofuture: Hula, Hip-Hop, and the Dunham Legacy.

As a dancer in the 1970s, she was a soloist with the Rod Rodgers Dance of New York City, and is noted particularly as a Choreographer/Director of theater works by poet and playwright Ntozake Shange. After working with Ms. Shange in her pre-For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Rainbow
is Enuf tenure in the Bay Area, she later directed Shange’s For Colored Girls, and choreographed her From Okra to Greens—A Different Kinda Love Story, Spell # 7, and Boogie Woogie Landscape for university theater departments and community theater groups. She has also choreographed for San
Francisco’s American Conservative Theater, including Miss Ever’s Boys in 1988, August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in 1989, and Pecong in 1993 for which she won the Bay Area Drama Critics Circle Award for choreography.

As an arts administrator, Dr. Osumare founded Everybody’s Creative Arts Center in Oakland in 1977, and over the next ten years saw its transition into CitiCentre Dance Theatre (CDT), becoming one of the anchor tenets in Oakland’s Alice Arts Center, now the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. She not only became a member of CDT professional dance company, but also helped establish California’s multicultural arts movement. She has been a panelist for the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, The Pew Center for the Arts, and Haas Creative Fund. Between 1989-1995 she was the Founder and Executive Producer of her national dance initiative Black Choreographers Moving Toward the 21st Century.

Since retiring in 2016 from UC Davis, Dr. Osumare has returned to dance theater, choreographing the acclaimed work, “In The Eye of the Storm.” Subsequently, Sacramento State University dancers came together to realize her vision of the current 21st-century social, political, and spiritual crisis, evidenced in the new civil rights movement “Black Lives Matter,” producing her 2019 choreography “Resistance/Resilience.” Like her mentor Katherine Dunham, she has dedicated her life to the intersections of the arts and humanities for a better world.

To purchase Dr. Osumare’s book, click here

About PUSH Dance Company
Described as “emotional and kinetic” (San Francisco Bay Guardian), PUSH Dance Company performs vibrant contemporary dances, providing audiences an opportunity to examine issues of identity and intersecting cultures that surround and affect us all. Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Raissa Simpson, PUSH maintains a philosophy that bold movement and intellect can coexist.

PUSH has presented countless interdisciplinary works vivifying the personal, untold stories of individuals from unique and overlooked communities. The Company annually produces PUSHfest & PUSHfest Awards, a cross-genre dance festival that brings together existing works by choreographers working within different dance disciplines and boasts a Dance Education Outreach Program that brings high-quality dance artists to teach throughout the Bay Area.

To learn more about PUSH Dance Company, click here

The Hummingbird's Visit Closing Reception
Reclaiming Our Image through Muralism and Photograpahy