It’s hard to quantify the impact of Sherrie Silver’s work so far. The celebrated choreographer reached new levels of fame when she composed the now-viral dance moves for Childish Gambino’s award-winning “This Is America” video. Since its release, those moves to the song that took home this year’s Grammy for Record of The Year have seen their fair share of memes, ads, commercials and Instagram feeds. In short, the steps live in their own infamy, extending beyond that one music video to other corners of the internet, which means Silver’s work is still influencing the culture. That’s a feat in today’s society, one that consumes and throws away culture moments quicker than we can create them.
Using dance as a visual vehicle to highlight the song’s focus on gun violence and racial injustice, Silver pulled inspiration for dance moves from African youth around the continent. But the Rwandan dancer doesn’t just pull her creative energy from her heritage; she is also investing in it as a dedicated advocate and activist. In 2018, Silver paid for 200 Rwandan citizens’ healthcare costs and hosted large scale events that secured monies for various causes, even opening up and renting a home to displaced families and children who needed shelter. Her advocacy spans far across the continent and world as she teaches African dances to the public, truly bringing “Africa to the World.”