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Karen Campos McCormack

was born in Harlem New York the second daughter of Alma Barker who came to New York when she was fifteen from Barbados and Norman Miller also a native of Barbados Miller s father passed away from pneumonia before her birth and she and her elder sister Dot were brought up by her mother and aunts under difficult circumstances Her mother s spirit and resilience proved to be a mainstay throughout Miller s life She grew up in Harlem at a time when it had become a beacon of freedom for African Americans despite the widespread poverty and the music and dance of the era exercised a powerful attraction on her from an early age She lived behind the famous Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue the first integrated ballroom in Harlem and an emblem for the community which would play a central role in her early career and the development ...