he nature of musical and theatrical performance changed
during the war, and Valaida Snow’s return to the United
marks the end of an era in black variety stage cul-
ture. With the development of communication technologies,
much of the cultural work that had taken place on the variety
stages now happened on the radio, records, and film. This was the
end of an era for black variety chorus girls in particular (see fig.
50). “One day . . . it was the late 40s . . . something happened and
the well went dry,” explains Marion Cole, Cleo Hayes, and Elaine
Ellis of the Apollo Rockets. “There were no more sixteen chorus
girls working the theaters in New York and Washington and Phila-
delphia and Baltimore. All of a sudden it just stopped . . . many
[theaters] started having music . . . and they didn’t use chorus girls
anymore.”1 Many of the black women who had traveled to Europe
with the black revues had settled there. Adelaide Hall was in Lon-
don, Josephine Baker was in the French woods with her Rainbow
Tribe of adopted children. A new generation of African American
dancers, musicians, visual artists, intellectuals, and writers also
moved out of the United States, claimed expatriate status, and
set up communities abroad. With this choice and in their art they
made their protests of U.S. racist policies explicit.
After the war black women artists became increasingly politi-
cal with what they created. Katherine Dunham and Pearl Primus
developed combinations of dance cultures from Africa, the West
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