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Divided, We Danced


Divided, We Danced is an illustrated and though-provoking look at the Soul artists and music of the 1960s that changed America through breaking racial barriers. The blog also examines the legacy Soul music has today to fuel protests, comfort coronavirus patients, and highlight Black excellence.


What started as a simple illustrated poster project blossomed into an extraordinary journey as I delved deeper into the lives of the artists I was depicting. Their captivating stories ignited a fire within me, compelling me to craft a book spanning nearly 400 pages. But just as I was gearing up to share this masterpiece with the world, the pandemic struck, throwing a wrench into my plans to secure literary representation. Undeterred, rather than letting these incredible narratives gather dust, I made a bold decision to self-publish them as a dynamic blog, ensuring that these voices and tales continued to resonate far and wide, transcending barriers and hopefully bringing joy to readers. My work caught the eye of visionary film directors hungry to capture the essence of Soul artists on screen. I was approached numerous times to lend my expertise in research and creative direction.

The blog
contains interviews with Soul artists and their closest kin. With every post are untold stories, the heartfelt confessions, and the electrifying insights that breathe life into the very essence of Soul music. Interviews include Darlene Love, Dee Dee Sharp, Mary Wilson and Susaye Greene of the Supremes, Bobby Rydell, the Vandellas, Diahann Carroll, La La Brooks of the Crystals, and many more. 


Since 2015, I've created over 200 illustrations, each a labor of love and dedication. I often jest that I've speed-dated nearly every Soul artist, immersing myself in their world, delving into their personal stories, and paying homage to those who've passed. My days were filled with the rhythm of their music, and my evenings were dedicated to bringing their essence to life through art, a testament to my respect for their contributions to American history.

American Bandstand

Curtis Mayfield

Darlene Love

Dionne Warwick


Aretha Franklin

Peggy Jones "Lady Bo"

Norma-Jean Wofford "The Duchess"

Bo Diddley

Sammy Davis Jr.

The Temptations

The Shirelles

Nancy Wilson

Little Richard

Irma Thomas

Ike & Tina Turner


Patsy Vidalia

Leslie Uggams

Solomon Burke

Dee Dee Sharp

The Marvelettes

Quincy Jones

Marvin Gaye

Odetta Holmes

Johnny Mathis

Jackie Wilson

James Brown

The Sweet Inspirations

Little Eva

Sly Stone

The Blossoms

Major Lance

Brenton Wood

Jackson 5

Martha and the Vandellas

Harry Belafonte Hosts the "Tonight Show"

Harry Belafonte

Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell

Dee Dee Warwick

The Ronettes


Nat King Cole

Sam Cooke

Mary Wilson

Diana Ross

Florence Ballard

The Toys

Girl Group Essentials

The Velvelettes

Eartha Kitt Confronts the Johnsons

Hugh Masekela

Willie Mitchell

Eddie Floyd

Nina Simone

Gladys Knight & the Pips

"American Bandstand" / Dick Clark

Otis Redding

Smokey Robinson

Jimi Hendrix

Linda Martell

Roberta Flack

Chambers Brothers

Etta James

Ray Charles and The Raelettes

Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles

© 2024 J.D. Humphreys

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