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Birdie in the Cage

Birdie in the Cage

Update: 2019-10-2341
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People have been doing the square dance since before the Declaration of Independence. But does that mean it should be THE American folk dance? That question took us on a journey from Appalachian front porches, to dance classes across our nation, to the halls of Congress, and finally a Kansas City convention center. And along the way, we uncovered a secret history of square dancing that made us see how much of our national identity we could stuff into that square, and what it means for a dance to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. 


Special thanks to Jim Mayo, Claude Fowler, Paul Gifford, Jim Maczko, Jim Davis, Paul Moore, Jack Pladdys, Mary Jane Wegener, Kinsey Brooke and Connie Keener. 


This episode was reported by Tracie Hunte and produced by Annie McEwen, Tracie Hunte, and Matt Kielty.


Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate


 


Check out Phil Jamison's book,  “Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance


Watch this 1948 Lucky Strike Cigarette Square Dancing Commercial


A rare image of Black Square Dancers in 1948


The Square Dance History Project


Read “America’s Wholesome Square Dancing Tradition is a Tool of White Supremacy,” by Robyn Pennachia for Quartz


And Pennachia’s original Twitter thread


Read “The State Folk Dance Conspiracy: Fabricating a National Folk Dance,” by Julianne Mangin


 

Comments (6)

J MB

this entire podcast was a setup for a conversation about race. please... back to science. pretty sure the ratio in a dance hall / hip hop club is gonna be similar...

Dec 3rd
Reply

RobDude

"Ugh it's all white people, but know what I surprised about? They were friendly!". Wow, big surprise LOL. How is that not racism? Just another example of how prejudice against white folks is ok. 🙄

Nov 4th
Reply (3)

Cupcake Kitten

Where can I get a copy of the instrumental version of "po black sheep" at the end by Jake Blount???

Nov 4th
Reply
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Birdie in the Cage

Birdie in the Cage

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