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Dancing in the Streets

Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs of New Orleans
Judy Cooper

BUY Cloth · 326 pp. · 8.25 × 11.5 · ISBN 9780917860829 · $49.95 · Jun 2021

Every Sunday from late August to Father’s Day, a second line parade snakes through the neighborhoods and backstreets of New Orleans. The parades are hosted by social aid and pleasure clubs (SAPCs), civic organizations that have been fixtures in Black New Orleans since the nineteenth century. Born out of the funeral parades hosted by pre–Civil War benevolent associations, the second line tradition has persisted through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, wartime, and the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, evolving with the times while staying rooted to its founding principles of mutual aid and cultural expression.

A companion volume to an exhibition at the Historic New Orleans Collection, Dancing in the Streets combines archival imagery with the work of ten contemporary photographers to depict the evolution of a unique and resilient tradition. Essays by Judy Cooper, Rachel Carrico, Freddi Williams Evans, Matt Sakakeeny, and Michael G. White explore the history of second line music, dance, and decorations, while an epilogue by Charles "Action" Jackson addresses the effects of the pandemic on the second line community.

Distributed for the Historic New Orleans Collection

About the Author(s): 

Judy Cooper is a photographer living and working in New Orleans. She has presented solo shows in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Kaunas, Lithuania. A major exhibition of her work, Living Color: Photographs by Judy Cooper, was shown at the New Orleans Museum of Art in 2008.

Rachel Carrico is Assistant Professor of Dance Studies in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida.

Freddi Williams Evans is author of Come Sunday: A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square and Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans.

Charles "Action" Jackson is a broadcast journalist and community activist in New Orleans.

Matt Sakakeeny is Associate Professor of Music at Tulane University and author most recently of Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity.

Michael G. White holds the Rosa and Charles Keller Jr. Endowed Chair in the Arts and Humanities at Xavier University. An internationally renowned musician, he has recorded with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, and Taj Mahal.

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