Judith Jamison’s Cultural Obsessions

Nick Higgins

Cultural obsessions of the Alvin Ailey artistic director emerita.

“I recently got baptized at the Abyssinian Baptist Church by Reverend [E. Marshall] Turman, who was a dancer in the first BFA program here at Alvin Ailey. That was a big deal. They do amazing things there, and they have a lot of very interesting ministries and incredible choirs.

“I’m about to go see Porgy and Bess on Broadway for the third or fourth time. It’s not about the controversy to me. It presents the characters as whole people, coming from a place of Africanness and blackness that’s very real. It’s beautiful.”