BSA Class

The Art of Oral Storytelling from an African/ African American Perspective

Black Storytellers Alliance's (BSA) immediate goals are to recruit and instruct 15 apprentices of all ages from 5th grade to senior citizens for a 12-week course in the Art of Oral Storytelling (From an African/African-American Perspective) with the goal of grooming the successors to carry on the oral tradition in their lives and with their families.

The long-term goal is to groom the successors to those of us who are presently doing that work, thus ensuring that the power of storytelling to educate, culturally inform and strengthen our community will continue as a positive contributor to humanity.

We recognize that many of our apprentices may have little or no knowledge of their opportunity/potential to assume their rightful role in carrying our history throuhg this extremely functional art form.We also recognize that apprentices may neither know the powerfully positive effects it can have on our communities. This art form is vital and needed due to the present and continous onslaught of traumas placed on us.

We have produced this class three different times over the past 2 years - virtually due to the pandemic - to 36 participants (duplicated count of 10 participants). In general, we are Master storytellers whose mission is to maintain and perpetuate the art of oral storytelling.

In addition to this, students from the class featured in our annual family-friendly, free & open to the public - Black Master Storytelling Festival, "'Signifyin & Testifyin'" in the Twin Cities. With a long-standing history of 32 years and serving more than 45,000 persons during that time (Streamed live for virtual viewers and those in-person to re-run) we plan to continue to highlight our class participants so that they feel proud about their connection to this fundamental African American Art Form.

Course Content

Course Apprentice learning Objectives:

1) Learn how to create or recreate a short story using ordinary objects.
2) Learn how to prepare your own story using BSA "Story Prep Outline" sheet
3) Learn how to put older stories & folktales into our own words while bringing them new life
4) Learn how to prepare your "Instrument" - The Voice: Tone & Diction
5) Learn how to engage listeners (Young/Old)
6) Where to find stories, how to learn stories, & how and where to practice your stories.
7) Explore Story memorization
8) Learn to look at characters within story and develop characters within story