There was an article on The Salad Bowl / GT a bit ago about Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack dancing Swan Lake. I mentioned that there were certain balletomanes who were up in arms about how it was described as history making, as they felt it was an inaccurate description and it wasn’t the first time something in her career was spun as such. I was not up in arms personally, and I felt some people’s indignation was a way to hide some racism (like, just because you like Lauren Anderson doesn’t mean you aren’t being racist about Misty Copeland), but I was interested in this other history that was brought up (as a burgeoning balletomane myself).
This is an excellent article that addresses many of the issues at play in an even-handed way and the historical context for Misty’s career. One of the choice quotes: “The truth behind the myth is that Misty is walking on a path that, though overgrown from lack of use, was cleared before her, but you would never know it (unless you know it).”
The article ends with a roll call for names of black ballerinas in the comments, as a way of keeping an archive.