Misty Copeland’s mentor: The courageous black ballerina who defied racism

Posted by Paige Bluhdorn

When Raven Wilkinson made it into the illustrious Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1955, she was told to blend in. The Civil Rights Movement was barely underway, and she was a black ballerina — the company’s first black ballerina — touring the Jim Crow South. She was told to wear white makeup and stand near the foreign dancers.

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