What is your relationship to stories? I grew up in a home filled with other peoples stories. Yes my parents told me stories of their ill spent youth, but my family was poor in personal mythology or fables handed down from previous generations. Yes – I had Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. I had piles of children books that my parents read to me, but my parents were poor in stories that they could pass on to me from my ancestors.
If I was poor then Lyn Ford was rich beyond description. In her book Affrilachian Tales she has chosen to share this wealth with the world. I can count the number of storytellers on one hand who tell stories on a daily basis that come from with in their family linage.
I am proud to count Lyn Ford among that select group of American storytellers who are telling stories on stage in front of audiences that they learned at a relatives knee at the age of six or seven.
Press Play to hear Sankofa, aka David A. Anderson speaks on Historical Storytelling and Cultural Identity on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
David A. Anderson/Sankofa
In 2009, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture convened, at the Washington Mall, several members of the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS) to “give voice,” to “explore the expressive power of the creative African American verbal arts and oral traditions in the shaping of American culture and communication.” Through stories [and] words of wisdom, . . . we NABS sisters and brothers . . . evoke[d] themes dealing with “hearth, home, and community.” Read more »
Press Play to hear Victoria Burnett speak on Stories that Sing on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
It has always been my belief that the arts represent a key component in the effective presentation of the storytelling experience. From my earliest experience as a classroom teacher in the Washington D.C. area and later as a librarian in California, I recognized the power of integrating the arts in storytelling to teach through various curriculum.
If we as storytellers and educators recognize and respect the fact that Read more »
Press Play to hear Brother Wolf speak with Tejumola Ologboni on Walking the Talk with Street Storytelling.
A little more on the Artist…
Teju of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a master storyteller and folklorist of international renown. He draws listeners into stories with gestures and movements, and sometimes with music made on traditional Africa instruments. Some of his stories are filled with Read more »
The best part of this report is half way in… but worth watching…
Here is quote from the man in 1993… Do you feel you’re carrying a message from Africa?
Let’s be modest. Africa is vast, and it would be pretentious to speak in its name. I’m fighting the battle with words because I’m a storyteller, a griot. Rightly or wrongly, they call us masters of the spoken word. Our duty is to encourage the West to appreciate Africa more. It’s also true that many Africans don’t really know their own continent. And if you forget your culture, you lose sight of yourself. It is said that “the day you no longer know where you’re going, just remember where you came from.” Our strength lies in our culture. Everything I do as a storyteller, a griot, stems from this rooting and openness.
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I began telling stories as a member of an acting ensemble in 1976, presenting storytelling as a major part of our repertoire. We worked primarily in park and recreation centers and schools. As members moved away or went into other fields, we evolved into – and I co-founded – the Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA) in direct response to the demand for storytelling to deliver the inspirational and cultural lessons embodied in our stories.
Early on I encouraged members of the audience to share the storytelling space by becoming a part of the story and one of the characters in the story. On many occasions, I was unable to use all the audience members who wanted to participate! It was wonderful to have so many trying to Read more »