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Dancer Camille Brown’s ‘Black Girl’ taps into child’s play to tear down tropes and stereotypes

Black Women in Entertainment

Dancer Camille Brown’s ‘Black Girl’ taps into child’s play to tear down tropes and stereotypes

By Manuel Mendoza, via

In the second part of her trilogy about African-American identity, celebrated choreographer Camille A. Brown attempts to overcome stereotypes by investigating the childhood games of black girls.

Brown was inspired by Kyra D. Gaunt’s 2006 book, The Games Black Girls Play, which argues that hand-clapping songs, cheers and jump-rope games like the double Dutch reflect and are an underappreciated source of black music and culture.

“I realized that I was exhausted by stereotypes and tropes because, as a black female director, I battle with them daily,” she writes in the notes to BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, to be performed in Dallas when Camille A. Brown & Dancers opens arts presenter TITAS’ season on Aug. 24-25.

“I started thinking about my childhood and the many games I used to play — double Dutch, red light/green light, Marco Polo — and how it was hard for me to find narratives within the media that showcased black girls being just that: girls. This instantly resonated and became personal. Who was I before …

Read More: Dancer Camille Brown’s ‘Black Girl’ taps into child’s play to tear down tropes and stereotypes


I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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