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September , 2018
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Another first under the Emancipation Oak


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Hampton, Virginia will be the center of the Black Storytelling world! On November 6 – 10, 2013, The National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. (NABS) will present the 31st “In the Tradition…” Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference” at the Hampton Crowne Plaza – Marina and throughout the Hampton community. A festival highlight is the Brother Blue Circle of Elders Ceremony at the Emancipation Oak on the campus of Hampton University. It was under the shade of the young oak that the first classroom was held for newly freed men and women. It was standing above the roots of the oak that the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation took place. It is under the massive branches of the oak that the adult grand prize winner of NABS’ first online Storytelling Contest “In Response to the Trayvon Martin Tragedy and the Culture of Violence in our Community” will continue the tradition. Just as the oak kept growing, Karima Amin of Buffalo, New York will share her story and tell us to “Keep it Moving.”

Co-Founder Linda Goss wrote an official response to the ongoing violence and injustice in our community. This call to action prompted the use of creative force by eliciting relevant stories on video from across the nation. Screen showings of the collection will be another first at the festival.

The premiere “In the Tradition…” Festival of Black Storytelling was held at Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1983 and, thirty years later, it is coming to Hampton for the first time and only the second time ever in Virginia! In honor of our Ancestors and in encouraging preservation of our traditions, this year’s theme is “Connecting With Our Youth: One Voice, Many Stories!”

Featured Storytellers including Sonia Sanchez will share performances in eleven formal storytelling concerts. Other Master Storytellers from around the country, as well as, beginners, storytellers with instruments and storytellers who dance, storytellers of all styles will be on hand to entertain, inspire, educate and enliven myths, recite poems and recount the history of a people. Local Hampton youth as well as adult storytellers and other national artists will participate in celebrating the Black storytelling legacy in Virginia, the nation and throughout the world!

The National Association of Black Storytellers is proud to present this one-of-a-kind event to the wonderful city of Hampton and throughout the community! Thousands of youth and adults, schools and libraries, will experience – “In the Tradition…” – the spirit of Black Storytelling. The Hampton public and attendees from all over the country are invited and encouraged to participate and attend. Complete information can be found at www.nabsinc.org

Other highlights are:

* PRE-FESTIVAL EVENT: Featuring Hampton’s finest young and some “not-so-young” performers of spoken word, storytellers, musicians, dancers and a whole lot more!! Being held on Wednesday, November 6th at the Crowe Plaza Hampton-Marina at 7 pm. FREE and open to the public!

* ADOPT-A-TELLER: Storytellers available to perform in local schools, libraries and for organizations all week long.

* WORKSHOPS: For the teller, for the youth, for the teacher, for the librarian, for the spiritual leader, for the community service provider covering varied interests in and levels of storytelling.

* OPENING GALA, STORYTELLING CONCERT & MARY CARTER SMITH LOVE CIRCLE: Traditional opening with stories, music & dance at Hampton University’s Ogden Hall.

* AFRICAN AMERICAN MARKET PLACE/KARAMU CORNER: Cultural clothing, instruments, jewelry and more! Storytelling, demonstrations, games and culture “talk” sharing as would be occurring at any marketplace.

* VILLAGE STORYTELLING CONCERT: Our fourteen Affiliates from across the country will share their unique regional and cultural flare as they weave their stories throughout the Hampton University Museum. A crowd pleaser!

* YOUTH & ADULT LIARS’ CONTEST: Festival Favorite! Members and the Hampton community non-members can compete…sharing their fantastic fabrications.

* ZORA NEALE HURSTON AWARD AND STORYTELLING CONCERT: An evening storytelling concert and recognition of excellence in the Black storytelling community!

* UNITY CIRCLE: Sacred stories and traditional closing bring the weekend to an end.


About NABS:
In 1982, nationally renowned storytellers, Baltimore’s first officially appointed Griot – the late, great Mary Carter Smith of Baltimore, Maryland, and esteemed Linda Goss of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – founded the “In the Tradition…” National Black Storytelling Festival. These visionaries then created the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc., to promote and perpetuate the art of Black Storytelling an art form, which embodies the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans.

Since the first Festival and Conference in Baltimore, NABS has traveled around the nation; most recently, New Orleans (’04), Tampa (’05), San Diego (’06), Atlanta (’07), Cincinnati (’08), Little Rock (’09), Minneapolis (’10), Atlanta (’11), Baltimore (’12) and now, for the first time, Hampton Virginia!

For more details, visit www.nabsinc.org

Photo Caption: Featured storytellers, Karima Amin and Sonia Sanchez

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