By The Open Center

African American history began in 1619, when the first slave ship arrived in Virginia. Those that survived the trauma of the middle passage carried with them the stories, folktales, myths and songs they knew from Africa–keeping the culture, customs and memories of their ancestors alive by way of oral tradition. Every occasion of life–birth, marriage, harvest, death–was commemorated by a song or story and these memories have been preserved and passed down through generations.

During their enslavement, African Americans were kept from learning to read and write so they adapted their oral traditions to share information with each other and record their history in America for future generations.

The past is important in understanding our history and figuring out our identity. Without the dedication of the first African Americans to keep these memories alive through oral tradition, it is likely that much of their story would have been lost.

In keeping with this tradition, we invite you to join Kevin Nathaniel, director of Afro Roots, for a series of evening concerts and conversations celebrating the history and traditions of indigenous cultures through the lens of music.

This Friday features Famoro Dioubate, “the world’s greatest player” of the West African xylophone (known as the bala).

And join us for our first virtual event celebrating the transformative power of storytelling. ⁠Baron Carr hosts COLOR Full Stories, an evening featuring 6 thought-provoking and powerful BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) storytellers to share their true personal stories, experiences and memories of being Black and Brown in America.

COLOR Full Storytelling Series
A Free Evening Event
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm EST



How likely are you to keep these conversations going beyond the month of February?

Take time to talk to your peers, family, friends and colleagues. Start by listening to this discussion honoring Dr. King, held by Open Center team member Timothy Simonson.

© 2020 New York Open Center, Inc. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy