Misty Copeland pens young reader book on Black ballerinas
'There are so many levels of success that have opened the doors up for me to get here,' Copeland shared with us
Misty Copeland, a trailblazing Black ballerina herself, has written a book for young readers entitled, Black Ballerinas.
Copeland has received a vast array of honors throughout her legendary career. As the first Black female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine, and one of the “10 most fascinating people” by Barbara Walters in 2015.
Copeland, who has inspired young dancers across the world, is taking her legacy a step further with her new book that details the long and extensive history of women of color in ballet, bringing it to “a new generation of readers.” She shared with us,”My journey wouldn’t be what it is if I didn’t know about the people that helped me get here.”
Entitled Black Ballerinas, the book honors, “the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity.”
Copeland has written other books in the past, including her memoir, Life in Motion, and two kids’ picture books. Her intention with this book, however, is to specifically highlight those who paved the way for Copeland, calling it her, “bow to them.”
Copeland told People Magazine, “Part of my mission is to bring awareness to the contributions of Black ballerinas…to give a sense of the rich histories of those who may not be documented in ballet history books, yet their careers — and legacies — are no less valuable and inspiring.”
She went on to explain, “I’m going to share my personal stories, connections to, and experiences with these groundbreaking women. Here are my intimate snapshots of those journeys. I am infinitely grateful for their legacies. This is my bow to them.”
Two years ago, Copeland received significant backlash when she called out Bolshoi Theatre in Russia for dressing their dancers up in blackface. She spoke last year on the unacceptable behavior from the prestigious ballet company.
“We can’t continue to make excuses for those who choose to not see what is in plain sight and that is the truth and reality of so many brown children being shot daily, and viewed as adults. I don’t condone bullying but lessons need to be had,” she shared at the time.
Black Ballerinas was published on Nov. 2, and is available to purchase now where books are sold.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!