It's hard for Sonny Allen not to be noticed in the ballroom of the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. It's not because he's worked with Duke Ellington and on the extravagant ballroom dance scenes in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X." It's not even because he is one of the first inductees into the International Lindy Hop Hall of Fame. Allen, 75, stands out not for his black suit in a room full of vibrant colors, but for his black skin.
Allen was one of the few African Americans present at the International Lindy Hop Championships over the weekend. The Lindy Hop is a swing dance popularized and originated by blacks in Harlem during the 1920s.