Black Men Are Ballerinas Too


When I saw this photo series on my Twitter timeline I was in awe. The regality and beauty in these photos left me speechless for a moment. They’re poised and strong, creating lines with their bodies that look like art. What captured me most about this photo series was that these ballerinas are black men. The very idea of black men practicing ballet, defies that very thing that society tells black men that they are. Society tells black men that their nature is harsh, violent, aggressive, hard edge. this photo series shows black men in a soft, loving, elegant, beautiful nature, everything that I’ve always known black men to be but everything society tells them they are not. Secondly, black men practicing ballet,such as in this  destroys the preconceived notions, thoughts, and ideas perpetuated by hyper masculinity. The idea that men and especially not black men, shouldn’t be practicing traditionally “feminine” activities such as ballet is outrageous to me. Inside the black community and outside of the black community, masculinity is extremely fragile and the intersection of race and masculinity make it even more fragile. This world is and has been harsh and cruel to black men and from the time they’re raised they aren’t even given a chance to explore their innocence and soft nature because they’re groomed to be hard edge from a young age because for them its a serious matter of life and death, they are taught that being soft will get you killed. These photos were from Alvin Ailey’s Dance Theatre Company; Alvin Ailey was a world renown choreographer, dancer and one of the most famous african american male ballerinas to date. I hope these images encourage young black men to pursue the arts, and more particularly activities that typically seen as “feminine” because yes of course, black men are strong, heroic, brave, and determined but black men are also soft, loving, caring, elegant, poised, artistic, regal and sometimes ballerinas; that is more than okay.

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