Focusing on three notable social spaces where black women organized expressive training, my poster first highlights the Flanner Guild Delsarte Club of Indianapolis. From the 1890s-1910s, the guild met regularly to don Greek-styled robes and practice mind-body exercises as they prepared for local performances that raised money for their local community center. As the club’s name implies, the women associated their practices with a French acting teacher, François Delsarte (1811-1871). This link made an important argument about the legitimacy of their work. In this era, Americans broadly accepted Delsarte’s “Laws of Expression” as convincing scientific proof that interior emotions corresponded to physical gestures. Though much of the scholarship about American Delsartism has focused on its popularity among white middle-class women, the activities of the Flanner Guild demonstrate that African Americans also used scientific discourse to produce their own interpretations of self-expression. Next, I show how expressive training was also central to the careers of Dora Cole Norman (1888-1939), an influential choreographer, and Ada Crogman (1886-1983), a pageant producer. Both women studied elocution and performance at renowned institutions, and both labored to introduce the techniques of self-expression to black communities. Norman directed the dance for W.E.B. Du Bois’ 1913 production The Star of Ethiopia, a large-scale pageant that dignified African American history and challenged racist representations of black citizens. To show how pageantry worked on a smaller scale, I then highlight Norman’s 1920s instruction of drama and dance classes at the Harlem YWCA and several NYC schools. On a similar scale but in a different setting, I also highlight Crogman’s 1920s pageantry work in numerous mid-western black churches and communities. While much of this history has remained “behind the scenes,” my poster shows how African American communities generated a very public form of emotional health by promoting social opportunities for self-expression.