Covid and Connecting with Dance and History

See also recordings and related links

Blooming in Motion, from Amber Barbee Pickens, presents images in Black dance history, with associated biographies, for enjoyment, edification, and inspiration. The book is also meant for coloring, for those who choose this method of meditation and relaxation. Amber Barbee Pickens joins “Community thru Covid” this week to talk about her new book, and how it can help reduce anxiety and keep us connected to our bodies at a time when too many of us spend too much time in video conference rooms. We’ll also discuss Ms. Pickens’ choreography for the film, “Passing,” just screened at Sundance.

Amber Barbee Pickens

Ms. Barbee Pickens is a dancer, choreographer, director, actress, author, illustrator, and designer. Originally from Dallas, she attended Julliard and danced at the Debbie Allen and Alvin Ailey schools. She draws inspiration from and helps to preserve the legacies of dancers including Eartha Kitt, Pearl Primus, Arthur Mitchell, the Nicholas Brothers, and Josephine Baker.

Blooming in Motion and Passing

Coloring in general helps us focus on the present to reduce anxiety. Images in this book also encourage connecting with movement and our own bodies…especially important for many of us during the limitations of this pandemic. Just released earlier this month, Blooming in Motion is a great addition to Black history studies this month and year-round and filled with women to note for Women’s History Month and beyond.

Blooming in Motion is available through Charnice Milton Community Bookstore’s Bookshop. Also visit for more, including a video preview of the book.

Nella Larsen’s 1929 Passing is also available through CMCB’s Bookshop. See last week’s program notes for more on this title and the new film version.

Tune in weekly on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern to We Act Radio (audio only) and We Act’s YouTube page (video and audio). Or check back for recording available shortly after air time.


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