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Alice Barker 102-Year-Old Harlem Renaissance Dancer Takes A Trip Back In Time

There are moments in life that just reall touch your soul. This is definitely without a doubt one of them. So get your tissues ready and make sure you have plenty of them. I was sent this video by several people but it wasn’t until my friend Laura (aka @BroadwayGirlNYC) told me I needed to stop everything and watch it NOW! Once I read the description of the youtube video and it began I instantly felt the water works. Read the video description and watch the video for youself. It will change your life. The video was posted by a Youtube account called Tenfresh

P.S. We’ll be sending her fan mail and flowers. Will you? She deserves it!


Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Although she danced in numerous movies, commercials and TV shows, she had never seen any of them, and all of her photographs and memorabilia have been lost over the years.

With the help of Mark Cantor of we finally got our hands on three “Soundies” Alice appeared in, and were able to show them to her for the very first time. She had never seen herself in motion in her life! Then historian Alicia Thompson helped us find a few more shortly afterwards.

If you’d like to send Alice fan mail we would love to see her get the adoration she deserves after so many years! (We’ll do our best to read some of your comments to her as well.):

Alice Barker
c/o Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home
835 Herkimer Street
Brooklyn, NY11233

For more info about the dancers of the Harlem Renaissance, we recommend the lovely documentary “Been Rich All My Life” —several of the women in the film danced with Alice back in the day!

To clarify: “We” are friends of Alice who made this video. I’m a volunteer who visits the home with my therapy dog Katie, and have known Alice for 8 years. The woman in the video is a recreation leader at the home. This was filmed on a cellphone almost as an afterthought, and we’re so thrilled that it’s brought so much joy to everyone and attention to Alice, who is loving it! Thank you all!

Written By

Drew Shade is a theatre artist and enthusiast who fosters artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre artists. He is the Founder/Creative Director of Broadway Black, Off-Book Podcast & The Antonyo Awards. “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.” – August Wilson


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