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Visitors Dance the Night Away at First Community Sock Hop

Brown V Board Of Education National Historic Site

National Park News

On Saturday February 23 Brown v. Board of Education NHS hosted its first community sock hop. Approximately 100 visitors braved the elements to enjoy a night of fun and music while students from the Kansas Ballet Academy and
Accent Dance Academy demonstrated dances such as the stroll, the twist, the lindy and the locomotion. A local band by the name of Spare Parts entertained the crowd with music from the 1950s and 1960s as kids and adults competed at hula hoop. The night was a great success according to park historian Thom Rosenblum. “We wanted to offer the public a lighter side of the history while still maintaining the parks thematic integrity.”

Music has the ability to unify society but it can also serve as a catalyst for youthful rebellion against traditional social norms. In its infancy, rock and roll reflected a unique harmony of various African American music genres that caught the attention of young adults to put on their dance shoes and twist the night away to the new sound.

The music industry labeled all African American music as race records. Therefore, early rock and roll was considered race music. However, the new sound transcended racial barriers as young adults from every ethnic group flocked to dance halls wanting to hear rock and roll. The success of rock and roll as an instrument for integrating young adults, and its label as race music, created a negative backlash from segregationists grasping to the idea of cultural traditions that separated whites and blacks in every aspect of society. Various groups organized boycotts of music stores and radio stations that played rock and roll. Despite their efforts, rock and roll survived.


Ruby on RailsRuby: 1.8.7, Rails: 1.1.6