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Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Dance

Directing Professor

Jeffery Bullock


The term cool derives from the Nigerian concept of Itutu, a Yoruba tradition which glorifies those that keep a level head, or a higher level of mind associated with control over one's body in times of pressure. The research is interested in excavating how enslaved Africans brought to the United States, and their descendants, protested the oppressive European-derived systems of colonialism and capitalism in discreet and moral ways. It aims to lift the nonviolent tradition of cool philosophy as a response of adequate power to counter the threat and terror of White Supremacy and commemorate the culture of peoples from the African Diaspora by implementing it as embodied memorial. Using Carl Jung’s process of individuation and Anthony Browder’s Survival Strategies for Africans in America as framework, the physical manifestation, a filmed choreopoem, synthesizes fragments of stories from personal diaries, notes, dreams, and corners of the authors mind and heart into an intertextual body of cool. It aims to decenter the concept of cool and the authentic Black experience as being young, male, and urban by uplifting a rural, feminine perspective of Black cool. Utilizing poetry and dance as verbal and nonverbal interpretations of introspection that cultivate self-identity, it seeks to flesh out the turbulence of the protagonist's inner landscape illuminating her process to integrative grief and employing cool as power, divine inspiration manifested through self-determination.

Performance Access Statement

If you wish to see the creative piece or performance that accompanied this thesis, please complete the Request Form, and you should receive a response from the Dance Department within two weeks.