Storyteller


Serving the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester,
Long Island, Queens, Staten Island, & Brooklyn

This Train is Bound for Glory

A Journey on the Underground Railroad

Story: Underground railroad

Follow the Drinking Gourd and share in this exciting and awesome adventure to Freedom.

April weaves spirituals, work chants and traditional melodies throughout stories of struggle, hope and praise on a journey from Southern cotton & tobacco fields, to "the promised land" of the Northern states.

Go Down Moses
   
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Slavery in New York State, Did you know that there was slavery in our great state of New York?

Story: Underground railroad

Meet Henry "Box" Brown, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, John Parker, William and Ellen Craft. Learn about the codes woven in quilts, hiding places and signs on the long journey to freedom.

These are the stories of struggle, of defiance, of stealth determination. These stories remind us if there is a will there is a way.

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Come follow the North Star. Learn the codes. And hush your mouth, somebody's stealing away.

Take This Hammer

Steal way, steal away home,    I ain't got long to stay here. . . .

Schedule a Storytelling Residency at your School

Story: Underground railroad

How about a storytelling or drama workshop or residency in your school or community center? Workshops can be tailored to fit your group's needs and goals. Residencies begin at 3 visits, up to 20 visits. A planning session with teachers or groups leaders at your site kicks off the residency. Workshop curriculum is planned out with a goal in mind for the duration of the residency

Artist's note:

Story: Underground railroad Some people wonder about why we should keeping teaching our children about African American slavery in our United States. "Why should I learn something that's been long over with?" you might say. Well, why do we keep studying about the Holocaust in Germany during the 1940's, or why study the Tribes of Native Americans, their cultures and the atrocities? Or why study the Romans or Greeks? All these things happened a long time ago?

Story: Underground railroad

We study them because they are important stories. We study them because we have come to realize how much these people have contributed to our present culture. We remember them because they matter; their smartness, cleverness, their heartache, their courage. We study their triumphs and conquests and sacrifices. And we also study what others have done to them. We study these things because we don't want to do bad things again to them or others.

Some people say, "Black history didn't start with slavery so why teach that?" I say, it is definitely important to study the countries and cultures of Africa; to learn about our homeland. But, our Diaspora and what happened to us on the way to where we are now, it's important to know that, too. We've forged a culture, combining all those tribes. We've gained such resiliency. We have a history that is different than that of our Homeland ancestors. And we're still here.

Note on art work by Joseph Holston Paintings are from a series called Color in Freedom. Mr. Holston's art is so inspiring to me. Check him out. HolstonArt.com