West African Dance and Spiritual Well-Being for African Americans

  • Ojeya Cruz Banks
  • Jeanette “Adama Jewel” Jackson
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 73)


Through autobiographical writing and ethnographic observation, this study highlights the life experience and educational activism of Jeanette “Adama Jewel” Jackson, founder and director of African Soul International, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles. The chapter exemplifies how, for African Americans, African dance can be a critical practice of resistance, self-affirmation, and vital cultural recovery. The authors align with the premise of African dance scholar Thomas DeFrantz that rhythm and dance are a tangible hallmark of an African retention of heritage and spirituality that can afford a positive sense of identity. Fundamentally, the study highlights West African dance as a practice of spiritual well-being.


African-American identity Camp Fareta Djembe Racism Spiritual well-being West African dance Youth dance 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ojeya Cruz Banks
    • 1
  • Jeanette “Adama Jewel” Jackson
    • 2
  1. 1.Denison UniversityGranvilleUSA
  2. 2.African Soul International and University of La VerneLa VerneUSA

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