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Dunham, Katherinelocked

(22 June 1909–21 May 2006)
  • Dennis Wepman


Dunham, Katherine (22 June 1909–21 May 2006), dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist, was born Katherine Mary Dunham in Chicago, the daughter of Albert Millard Dunham, a tailor and later the owner of a dry-cleaning business, and Fanny June Taylor, a school administrator of mixed African, Native American, and French-Canadian descent. The family lived in Glen Ellyn, Illinois until 1913, when Katherine’s mother died. Katherine and her brother then lived with their aunt Lulu in the impoverished south side of Chicago until 1917. In that year her father married Annette Poindexter, a former schoolteacher, and the family moved to Joliet, where Katherine attended public schools. The niece of Arthur Dunham, a voice coach and choral leader, Katherine was drawn to dance early; at the age of fifteen she organized a group of classmates to form a dance revue to help fund her church. In high school she was an active member of the Terpsichorean Club as well as an accomplished athlete....

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