African American America Amusements Dance

The Cakewalk

The Cakewalk had its origins in slavery. Peering through the windows at the spectacles hosted by white planters, enslaved blacks would then prance and preen in imitation of whites at their own dances, using exaggerated movements, curtsys and bows to and adopting “high-toned” clothing to mock. In performance, couples would line up to form an …

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