Alvin Ailey Unisex T-Shirt


Alvin Ailey Unisex T-Shirt

$ 28.99


Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.

Welcome to the Respect Due family the Alvin Ailey! We salute you.


  • 4.2 oz., 100% airlume combed and ringspun cotton
  • retail fit
  • unisex sizing
  • shoulder taping
  • side-seamed
  • pre-shrunk
SKU: 21421 Categories: , ,


Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931 – December 1, 1989……), a.k.a. Alvin Ailey Jr., was an African-American dancer, director, choreographer, and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). He created AAADT and its affiliated Ailey School as havens for nurturing black artists and expressing the universality of the African-American experience through dance. His work fused theatre, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of black life in America. Ailey’s choreographic masterpiece Revelations is recognized as one of the most popular and most performed ballets in the world. In this work he blended primitive, modern and jazz elements of dance with a concern for black rural America. On July 15, 2008, the United States Congress passed a resolution designating AAADT a “vital American cultural ambassador to the World.” That same year, in recognition of AAADT’s 50th anniversary, then Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared December 4 “Alvin Ailey Day” in New York City while then Governor David Paterson honoured the organization on behalf of New York State.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations (2015)

Born in Rogers, Texas, at the height of the Great Depression in the violently racist and segregated south, during his youth Ailey was barred from interacting with mainstream society. Abandoned by his father when he was three months old, Ailey and his mother were forced to work in cotton fields and as domestics in white homes—the only employment available to them. As an escape, Ailey found refuge in the church, sneaking out at night to watch adults dance, and in writing a journal, a practice that he maintained his entire life. Even this could not shield him from a shiftless childhood spent moving from town to town as his mother sought employment, being abandoned with relatives whenever she took off on her own, or watching her get raped at the hands of a white man when he was five years old.

Looking for greater job prospects, Ailey’s mother departed for Los Angeles in 1941. He arrived a year later, enrolling at George Washington Carver Junior High School, and then graduating into Thomas Jefferson High School. In 1946 he had his first experience with concert dance when he saw the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium. This awakened an until then unknown spark of joy within him, though he did not become serious about dance until 1949 when his classmate and friend Carmen De Lavallade dragged him to the Melrose Avenue studio of Lester Horton.

Ailey studied a wide range of dance styles and techniques—from ballet to Native American inspired movement studies—at Horton’s school, which was one of the first racially integrated dance schools in the United States. Though Horton became his mentor, Ailey did not commit to dancing full-time; instead he pursued academic courses, studying romance languages and writing at UCLA. He continued these studies at San Francisco State in 1951. Living in San Francisco he met Maya Angelou, then known as Marguerite Johnson, with whom he formed a nightclub act called “Al and Rita”. Eventually, he returned to study dance with Horton in Los Angeles.

He joined Horton’s dance company in 1953, making his debut in Horton’s Revue Le Bal Caribe. Horton died suddenly that same year in November from a heart attack, leaving the company without leadership. In order to complete the organization’s pressing professional engagements, and because no one else was willing to, Ailey took over as artistic director and choreographer.

Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade (1954)

In 1954 De Lavallade and Ailey were recruited by Herbert Ross to join the Broadway show, House of Flowers. Ross had been hired to replace George Balanchine as the show’s choreographer and he wanted to use the pair, who had become known as a famous dance team in Los Angeles, as featured dancers. The show’s book was written and adapted by Truman Capote from one of his novellas with music from Harold Arlen and starred Pearl Bailey and Diahann Carroll. Ailey and De Lavallade met Geoffrey Holder, who performed alongside them in the chorus, during the production. Holder married De Lavallade and became a life-long artistic collaborator with Ailey. After House of Flowers closed, Ailey appeared in Harry Belafonte‘s touring revue Sing, Man, Sing with Mary Hinkson as his dance partner, and the 1957 Broadway musical Jamaica, which starred Lena Horne and Ricardo Montalbán. Drawn to dance, but unable to find a choreographer whose work fulfilled him, Ailey started gathering dancers to perform his own unique vision of dance.

Revelations – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 60


Alvin Ailey speaking at UCLA 3/9/1983

3001 Sizing Chart



Additional information



, , , , , , , ,


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Alvin Ailey Unisex T-Shirt”


Best Selling Products

Latest Products

On-Sale Products

You've just added this product to the cart: