Yours in Blackness: Livingston College's Weusi Kuumba Dancers and Drummers

William Bellinger, an alumnus from Livingston College's first four-year graduating class in 1973, founded the Livingston College Weusi Kuumba Dancers and Drummers, an all-Black troupe, before the college even opened, in July 1969. Bellinger was also the student speaker at the 1973 Livingston College graduation convocation. 
 
The 1973 Livingston College yearbook included a photo of the troupe and a description and history of the troupe by Bellinger. Below is the text (with minor edits) as it appeared in the yearbook. The original yearbook page is available here.
 
 

The spirit of Africa is upon me. 
She has annointed Me to bring good tidings.

          William Bellinger 5/1/73

YOURS IN BLACKNESS

The Livingston College Weusi Kuumba Dancers and Drummers, an all Black Troupe, was organized in July 1969 by William Bellinger, of Rahway, a member of the class of 1973.

Soon afterwards, the troupe took as its purpose, "promoting a language, a mode of expression, which addressed itself to the mind, through the heart, using related, relevant and significant movements which are related to our everyday activities for expression of special [and] real-life experiences in our special and rhythmic sequence."

 

"We as a group are striving for a dwelling and clearer insight of our way of life, labor, culture, aspirations, history, social, economic, and religious beliefs, and disbeliefs, movements and festivity, and sadness.

"In short, we are attempting to portray a heritage, a culture, conceived and felt by our troupe."

The Weusi Kuumba African Dancers and Drummers have traveled much. Among performance locations are: Somerset County College, Hilton Hotel, N.Y., Malcolm X University and Boston University.

Monies earned, or donated to the group, are used to assist needy Black students wishing to major in community development, and to assist the scientific research for a Sickle Cell disease cure.

Bill Bellinger '73


 

Originally posted February 8, 2015
Revised April 2, 2016