Masqueraders at the Winneba Fancy Dress Festival in Ghana

Performing as “Red Indians” in Ghana

In Ghana, asafo and Fancy Dress traditions draw on a stereotypical but much-admired figure inspired by the nations of the North American Great Plains.
Group portrait of Christian heavy metal band Stryper, 1984

Sex (No!), Drugs (No!), and Rock and Roll (Yes!)

In the 1980s and 1990s, Christian heavy metal bands used head-banging music to share the politics and values of evangelical Christians with America’s youth.
La Bayadere, Estudio Dance Mariela Gonzáles, 2018

Pas de Deux With Cancel Culture

Traditionally set amidst an exoticized conception of India, La Bayadère’s recent staging argues for stripping away stereotypes in the creative reimagination of old ballets.
A drawing of a microphone

Performing Memory in Refugee Rap

Hip-hop and other performative arts offer Southeast Asian American immigrants a way to construct richer narratives about the refugee experience.
Joseph Bologne de Saint-George

Fencer, Violinist, Composer: The Life of Joseph Bologne

As a musician of color during the Ancien Régime and French Revolution, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, lived a life unlike those of his peers.
Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, 1992

She’s All About That Bass

It’s not your imagination: a disproportionate number of women really do play bass guitar in rock bands.
Sheet music cover dated 1852

Christy’s Minstrels Go to Great Britain

Minstrel shows were an American invention, but they also found success in the United Kingdom, where audiences were negotiating their relationships with empire.
John Dyson playing the accordion, 1940

The Accordion Blues

Though many associate the accordion with polkas and klezmer, the instrument played an important role in Black music after its arrival in the United States.
The cover of the album A Grain of Sand

Charting the Music of a Movement

Galvanized by an act of racial violence, the band A Grain of Sand brought a new version of Asian American activism and identity to the folk music scene.
Willie Mae Thornton

Willie Mae Thornton Deserves Your Full Attention

In a meditative new biography, DJ and scholar Lynnée Denise examines the mysteries and trials in the life of the legendary performer.