Apollo Music

Resistance and Healing: Engaging The Ring Shout


The ring shout is the oldest known African American performance tradition surviving on the North American continent. A fusion of call-and-response singing, percussion, and expressive and formalized movement, it has had a profound influence on African American music and religious practice. The early form of the ring shout has survived in traditional practice since enslavement in the coastal communities of Georgia and South Carolina.

Join us as we examine the history of the ring shout and how the teachings of the ring are being integrated into both creative and healing practices in the 21st century. Anchored by Atlanta-based visual and performance artist Charmaine Minniefield, the afternoon includes a film short, panel discussion featuring Delaware State University Trauma Coordinator Kim Graham, and a Ring Shout performance by Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn. The afternoon concludes with the audience joining in the Ring Shout, so wear comfortable shoes and prepare for a transformative experience.

A community engagement program co-presented by the Apollo Theater, the American Composers Orchestra, and National Black Theatre in support of The Gathering.

Learn More about the Gathering

Apollo Community Programs are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with New York City Council Member Mark Levine.

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For the safety of our audiences and staff, all ticketholders and attendees of this event must provide proof of vaccination in order to enter the theater. In addition, all attendees are required to wear face coverings while inside the theater. Click here for more information about our COVID safety policies.



Charmaine Minniefield

Charmaine Minniefield

Firmly rooted in womanist social theory and ancestral veneration, the work of Charmaine Minniefield draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora, to explore African and African American history, memory, and ritual as an intentional push back against erasure. Her creative practice is community-based as her research and resulting bodies of work often draw from public archives as she excavates the stories of African American women-led resistance, spirituality, and power. Minniefield recently served as the Stuart A. Rose Library artist-in-residence at Emory University and through a collaboration with Flux Projects presented her work Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives in Atlanta’s historically segregated cemetery to honor the over 800 unmarked graves that were discovered in the African American Burial Grounds. She was recently awarded the prestigious National Endowment of the Arts Our Town Grant to present her Praise House Project in three different locations in the metro Atlanta area to celebrate the African American history of those communities. She currently splits her time in residence between Atlanta and The Gambia, where she continues to study the origins of her cultural identity and Indigenous traditions by tracing the Ring Shout.

kim headshot

Kim Graham

Kim Graham

Kim Graham serves as the coordinator of the Trauma Academy of Delaware State University. She is responsible for the development of courses and programs to equip practitioners and students to be responsive to trauma, and the nuanced needs of specific communities. Two tracks of note are African Centered Healing and Responding to the Trauma of Domestic Violence. Ms. Graham brings 20 years of experience working with schools to provide a continuum of arts-based education from pre-k through high school employing strategies for youth development based on strength-based, culturally competent, trauma informed tenants. Serving at-promise youth at varying points on the prevention-intervention continuum through the arts has been a key component of the work. Ms. Graham holds a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from West Chester University, with a concentration in psychodrama. In addition to the 20 years spent engaging youth serving adults, educators, children and their families, Kim has over 5 years of experience providing therapeutic support in the drug and alcohol field. These opportunities have provided tangible knowledge of both the impact of trauma on children and their families, as well as the realities of vicarious trauma, and historical trauma. Kim leads Trauma Matters Delaware’s Community Based Healing Subcommittee and serves as a member of the Higher Education Subcommittee.


Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn

Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn

Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet has been a staple in the Brooklyn community for over 27 years. Creative Outlet, the dance theater company, has toured the world including the Festival of 2 Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, the WACK Festival in London, four tours to Acapulco, Mexico for the American Black Film Festival, four tours to Seattle for the Dance This Festival, two tours to Atlanta, Georgia for the National Black Arts Festival, and a tour to Clinton, Maryland for the Maafa Festival. Creative Outlet has performed in many prestigious theaters in New York City including the JOYCE Theater with Complexions, BAM Harvey as part of Dance Africa, SUMMERSTAGE in Central Park and in Marcus Garvey Park, Aaron Davis Hall at City College, The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Symphony Space, The Jamaica Dance Festival, Lincoln Center and Bryant Park. Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet has received commissions from The Actor’s Theater, The Paramount Theater, The Martha Graham School, and So You Think You Can Dance. Creative Outlet’s Cultural Arts Program and Young Artist Program has nurtured the next generation of dance artists many making their way to the Broadway stage,The Metropolitan Opera, Alvin Ailey, Bill T. Jones, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Rihanna, and many others.