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Charles Rudolph Davis, also known as Baba Chuck Davis, (January 1, 1937 – May 14, 2017) was an American dancer and choreographer whose work focused on traditional African dance. He was one of the foremost teachers and choreographers of traditional African dance in America and traveled extensively throughout Africa to study with leading artists. Davis founded the Chuck Davis Dance Company in New York in 1968, DanceAfrica in 1977, and the African American Dance Ensemble in1984. 

1954: He graduated from John W. Ligon High School in 1954 and went on to serve in the United States Navy for two years, also working as a hospital corpsman at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.


1974: In 1974, he joined the faculty of the American Dance Festival


1984: In February 1984, the African American Dance Ensemble “arrival” was when they gave their first full concert as an independent professional company. In the 1985 season of the American Dance Festival, the African American Dance Ensemble stood on its own and took its place among the other established companies when it premiered two new Chuck Davis works, “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning,” and “Drought,” both of which were commissioned by the American Dance Festival.


1986: On January 1, 1986, Baba Chuck and members of the African American Dance Ensemble held its first Kwanzaa Fest in the city of Durham.


1996In 1996 he received a $100,000 grant from the National Dance Residency Program for the African American Dance Ensemble.


1998: In 1998 he received an honorary doctorate from Medgar Evers College and received many honorary doctorates from various universities

He was an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University in the Department of Theatre and Duke University. 

2014: Awarded two Bessie Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award

2017: Posthumously inducted into the Wake County Public School System's Hall of Fame


Refusing to become one of those who forget, we are reminded, that we are standing, marching, kneeling and existing by the grace and will of the Merciful Creator and to give true obeisance to HIM, is to NOT forget the warriors of the past, and the Elders of today.

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