Growing up in Texas, Alvin Ailey hid his dancing from his disapproving mother for two years and when she first saw him backstage in make-up, she slapped his face. His terror of her homophobia lasted decades, to his final days, so much so that when he was dying of aids at fifty-eight in 1989 he asked his doctor to lie about the cause on his death certificate. That fear outlives him. A CBS profile from August 2008 celebrates the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 50th anniversary with great dancing and an American success story of a black troupe thriving in a typically white corner of the arts. It omits any mention that he was gay, or gay people's contribution to dance, that he died of aids, or aids' toll on the arts. It also erases the more complicated aspects of Ailey's life, like his devastating arthritis, his addiction to cocaine, or his dependence on lithium. His private demons never obscured his public genius. One of the seventy-nine dances he choreographed, Revelations, set to spirituals and gospel music, is among the most popular and most seen ballets of the twentieth-century.