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Black In Ballet: Young Stars Talk About Racism and Success

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This month, Pointe Magazine celebrated three young black ballet stars Misty Copeland, Ashley Murphy, and Ebony Williams. On the cover of the magazine the young women strike a pose, displaying their long gorgeous legs. Propped on their toes, the ladies smile with confidence with a headline that reads “Beyond Role Models.” But life wasn’t always picture perfect for these three women.

In the magazine, the ladies share their perspective of working professionally in a Caucasian dominated industry. The tone of the article gives the reader the sense that the road to success wasn’t easy, especially when racism was front and center.

Murphy says she used to constantly question the theory,“Why it can never just be, Oh she is a beautiful dancer. It has to be, she’s a beautiful black dancer.”  Murphy discovered her talent while engaging in extracurricular activities. She hadn’t considered dance as an actual career until she started to be recognized for her form posture and grace.

READ MORE via Black In Ballet: Young Stars Talk About Racism and Success | The Reel Network.


  1. Deborah Bee

    June 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    The racist crap we Black people go through, every day and night. Just us breathing, seems to cause white people, problems.

  2. Bucktooth

    June 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    These young women are gorgeous..poised..graceful! Just can’t be anywhere where white folks are not jealous/racist/pushy/arrogant! I’ve lived it!
    Right On Ladies!!

  3. karen baylis

    June 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I studied ballet when I was 11 years old, that was 46 years ago. I went twice a week for 2 years, knowing that I would never go anywhere. The school collected my fee each month but the teacher gave me no encouragement, just criticism. After 2 years I abandoned my dream…I gave up. It is a pure joy to see the three of you front and centre, where you belong. I will be satified to live my dream through you…thank you.

  4. A.L.F.

    June 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I studied ballet, modern, tap, and African dance from third grade even after I graduated from a major university. I was fortunate to have Black instructors as well as other nationalities but I remember racism. What is also delightful about this article is to inform others that Black females do study classical dance.

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