Leave a comment

Jennifer Jones was the first African American woman to join the famous Rockettes chorus line. Jones joined the legendary dancers in 1988.

A native of New Jersey, Jones started dancing at 10 years old. She was unfamiliar with the Rockettes until she saw an ad in Backstage Magazine. She was encouraged by friends to audition.

Prior to that year, blacks were not allowed in the East Coast group. It was said that they would distract from the groups’ uniformed look. Even Jones was first chosen as an alternate. Only in 1981, the west coast version of The Rockettes featured a black dancer on their line.

Even when the group was created, its founder, Russell Markert, forbid the dancers to suntan so as to not appear to be “colored.” In 1982, Violet Holmes, the organization’s then director, stated “One or two black girls in the line would definitely distract. You would lose the whole look of precision, which is the hallmark of the Rockettes.” The statement has since been revised publicly and they hold to the idea that the Rockettes are equal opportunity employers.

Jones made her debut during the Superbowl halftime show on January 31, 1988. She was chosen out of 221 women who auditioned for the rare opening on the line. Out of the 23 women who were lined up for a future spot on the team, only one was black. This is even after they ran an ad in minority newspapers encouraging people to come to try-outs. Shortly after her performance, the west coast version of The Rockettes hired an African American dancer.

Jennifer Jones paved the way for other black Rockettes like Nirine S. Brown, a former Alvin Ailey Dance Academy student who was chosen in 2004.

Watch video of the Rockettes perform at the 1988 Superbowl Half Time Show below.

Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
10 photos

4 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Jennifer Jones

  1. svenerlandson on said:

    Women are cheating all over the place, nowadays! (Leann Rimes, Coco/IceT, Kristen Stewart, Suzy Favor Hamilton the Olympian & Vegas call girl, Rita Ora/Kardashian, Petraeus women).

    My latest book, “I Steal Wives: A serial adulterer reveals the REAL reasons more and more ‘happily married’ women are cheating” is a powerful look at this EXPLOSIVE topic of female infidelity. And the REAL reasons aren’t the typical blather you hear on talk-TV or read in the SECOND-HAND information of some psychologist’s self-help book. It’s now trending in the top 1% of books selling on Amazon!

    This is not a ‘nice’ book in any way, whatsoever. It is HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL: you’ll either love it or HATE it! It will bring up stuff you don’t want to think about or look at! Hate the author for a big ego and being so immoral, but what you’ll learn about relationships and women is pure gold!

    And let’s be honest, we’ve all heard the same relationship advice for years, even decades. WE’RE ALL LOOKING FOR FRESH NEW ADVICE FOR OUR RELATIONSHIPS, but no one has a new perspective and new insights, until now!

    The book is the FIRST BOOK EVER WRITTEN on female infidelity from the FIRST-HAND, insider experience of a serial adulterer, who cheated with the wives/girlfriends of over 25 married men (and a few women), and who also happens to be a therapist (never cheated with clients)! “I Steal Wives” is a salacious, self-deprecating, at times funny, and powerfully insightful look into what is now the very cutting-edge of relationships.

    It’s the relationship version of “How to Secure Your House, as told by a professional burglar!” This is no joke. It’s that rare relationship book that’s written in guy language and guy stories. The raw truths of “I Steal Wives” will forever change how you do relationships and understand women, especially if you are one!

    You can check it now at Amazon! You’ll really like it!

  2. daisey rigo on said:

    my classmate’s aunt makes $62/hr on the laptop. She has been laid off for nine months but last month her paycheck was $19297 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site………. Bit40.ℂOℳ

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s